Imagine being so strong that you could lift a young bull up onto your shoulders. Legend has it that Greek athlete Milon of Croton, who won six Olympic events during the 6th century BC, could.
This is the stuff of myth, of course. Aside from obvious animal rights issues, even if you could lift a bull, would you want to? Sounds a bit hairy.
But Milon’s myth captures the spirit of Milo, the brand that delivered on our no bull promise – to help build the energy of kids in Australia suffering from poor diets and malnutrition during The Great Depression.
In 1934 Nestlé Australia food scientist Thomas Mayne developed a powdered chocolate malt drink that people could mix with water or milk, and drink hot or cold. He launched Milo at the Sydney Royal Easter Show that year, and drank a cup every day until he died aged 93.
We started making Milo at a factory in Smithtown, Australia in 1935. It still makes Milo more than 80 years on, and Milo’s success is such that it is now the leading cocoa malt beverage across the globe which is made in 24 other factories worldwide, and sold in more than 40 countries.
In Central and West Africa, Milo was first launched in Nigeria in the 1960s. We also launched and started manufacturing the brand at our Tema factory in Ghana in the 1970s. A decade later, we started making Milo at our Agbara factory in Nigeria.
To tailor Milo to the tastes of the local population in Nigeria we’re using locally sourced ingredients like sorghum malt extract and cassava.
More recently we relaunched Milo with a new, modern brand identity and introduced a new branded active benefit across the region: Activ-Go. It contains protomalt, a unique malt extract that provides nourishing energy through a special blend of vitamins and minerals that helps prepare kids to do their best. In 2015, we also launched Milo Nutrifill in Ghana, a ready-to-eat cereal made from whole grains that is rich in iron, vitamins and calcium.
As well as being a firm favourite at the breakfast table, Milo – the energy food drink of future champions – is inspiring kids to take part in sports and enjoy the positive experiences of physical activity early on in life. No bull lifting required of course.
In Ghana, the brand heads the Milo Marathon. In 2015 it provided 4,000 underprivileged kids with running shoes to get them up and active. It also organises the annual Milo Champions League. Together with the Ghana Education Service, and with backing from the Ghana Football Association, it brings together over 36,000 kids from 2,000 schools across the country.
In Nigeria, more than 70,000 kids participate in the annual Milo Secondary Basketball Championship too.
From initially nourishing kids in Australia, to inspiring future champions in Africa today – all this would even make strongman Milon of Croton proud.