The History of MILO

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MILO®, was first introduced in 1934—a time of great economic depression—by chemical engineer, Thomas Mayne.

Nestlé wanted to develop a tonic drink that tasted good enough that children would eat it, whilst giving them the vitamins and minerals they needed, without costing families too much. The drink also had to be made from local ingredients such as malted barley, dried milk and cocoa.

The task fell to young trainee chemical engineer, Thomas Mayne who spent four years developing what we now know as MILO®. He wanted to create a mix with vitamins and minerals that would dissolve when stirred, not just fall to the bottom of the glass. He couldn’t quite get there.

One day, Mayne walked into his kitchen to discover his daughter, Margaret and her brother scooping the crunchy bits of MILO® powder off the top of their drinks. It was then he realised that the crunch was not a problem, but a feature! And so MILO® as we know it today was born—named after MILO® of Croton, a Greek wrestler who lived in the 6th Century BC and possessed legendary strength.


When Mayne’s MILO® was ready to sell, it needed to be easily distributed to families, which saw the introduction of the iconic MILO® tin. This has lived on—like MILO®—to this day.

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