A Drink that’s stood the test of time…


ovaltine original


British Associated Foods

Launch date:

The Brits may be famous as a nation of tea drinkers, but a brew is not the only hot beverage that, through the years, has managed to continue to tickle the nation’s tastebuds.

Ovaltine Original was launched in the UK in 1906 as a health drink. It was originally called Ovomaltine - derived from the drink’s two main ingredients, eggs and malt.

With distribution in 69% of all possible outlets, Ovaltine Original clocked up sales of £5.6m in the past year and it accounts for nearly 5% of the £117m total hot chocolate and malted drinks category [ACNielsen MAT to October 29, 2005].

As well as being a popular choice for children, the malted drink is also a hit with the over 55-year-olds.

The drink also tends to be bought more often by the less affluent consumer and has also proved very popular with smaller households.

Nearly 5% of ACNielsen’s consumer panel have tried Ovaltine Original, with 39% of those returning for a second purchase.

Familiar to generations of kids as a treat, Ovaltine was originally concocted by Swiss chemist George Wander as a nutritional supplement for those in need of more rounded diets.

In an effort to shrug off its old-fashioned image as a children’s bedtime drink, and to rectify a slight drop in sales from £5.9m last year to £5.6m this year [ACNielsen MAT to October 29, 2005], the brand recently launched its first ‘add water’ variant.

Ovaltine Original Light Water is the first time the malt drink has been formulated to be mixed with water in an attempt to make it more of a daytime option. Because it is made with hot water, instead of milk, it contains fewer calories, making it healthier.

The whole Ovaltine range, which Associated British Foods bought from Swiss conglomerate Novartis AG in 2002, received a makeover as part of the marketing support package for the newcomer, including revamped packaging and new jar sizes.