back when chocolate drinks came in tin cans and glass bottles

I'm a sucker for chocolate drinks; I think most kids are or at least have been at some point.

Back then we had Milo - in its still-familiar green-and-gold trademark packaging, only it came in gold tin cans instead of foil sachets (In those days, the only things you could buy in sachets were shampoo and conditioner; today almost every consumer product comes in sachets - detergent, fabric softener, peanut butter). To my memory, Milo has always had the same jingle, just in different arrangements. And it's always had that "pro-athletic" thing going on. "Milo for Olympic energy".

I remember Milo bars. They were heavenly. I also remember that somebody's mother made wonderful Milo cookies.

The TV commercials were pretty indelible - The ups and downs in a boy's basketball lifestyle, the up of course involving a glass of ice-cold Milo. A day in the life of a soccer player, the highlight of which was the Milo-powered goal he made in a rain-soaked game. There was also the one with Bea Lucero, when she wasn't yet knows as the tae kwon do master with an Olympic bronze medal under her black belt, but the cute, twelve-year old gymnast who also co-hosted a kids show with Bam Aquino (then known as "BamBam") and Diego Castro (then known as "Kokok").

Milo disappeared for awhile, and it reemerged as vibrant as ever. Except that I think it doesn't quite have the same yummy quality - it seems to be mostly just sugar now. Or maybe it's just that those foil sachets cheapen the experience.

Milo's rival was Ovaltine, the TVCs of which showed adventurous, inquisitive kids who thought they were Indiana Jones. Ovaltine pow-errrrr .... Ovaltine!

This drink had a snack form called Ovalteenies - little round Ovaltine-flavored tablets - which were advertised by cartoon mascots who were just creepy - they were round, dark oompa loompas, and if you paid attention to what they were doing, you'd realize they were cannibals.

The nice thing about powdered chocolate drinks like Milo and Ovaltine is that you didn't have to mix them with water to enjoy them; you could eat the powder form. A spoonful of crunchy, cocoa-y Milo or Ovaltine (with or without milk or sugar) was kiddie bliss. I remember reading this hilarious book back in fourth grade (an old publication I chanced upon in the school library) with a heroine named Rosemary; in one story, she made a snack out of powdered chocolate, powdered milk and sugar and called it "cokeshug".

Chocolait was chocolate milk that came in a cute glass bottle. If I remember correctly, it was the only chocolate milk sold locally. "Magnolia Chocolait is a drink like a chocolate bar that you can drink - so highly nutritious!"

Magnolia thought of a brilliant way of making kids drink milk. Kids loved that whole array that looked so attractive lined up in the grocery stores, pastel colors showing through the sleek, clear glass -- fresh milk, sweet dairy milk, strawberry milk, melon milk. There was even this purple-colored thing that must have been ube milk (*shudder*). But everyone's fave - popular enough to have its own TVC - was Chocolait. Yummy and creamy, especially enjoyable when cold. It was an absolutely kid-friendly calcium treat.

The glass-bottle packaging wasn't so kid-friendly though. Preschoolers who brought this for recess had to pester Teacher to open the seal. You couldn't help spillages and breakages either; glass bottles, even small ones, might just be too heavy for kids to drink from. I have memories of schoolmates making a liquid chocolate mess across the snack table, or kids walking around in brown-drenched uniforms. I guess that's why the tetra-pack became more popular (well that and the fact that paper-based packaging is much cheaper than glass ones), resulting in the eventual demise of the cute glass bottle. Those bottles, by the way, are now considered collectibles. I saw some on sale at an antique shop.

Those numerous present-day tetra-packed chocolate drinks are just echoes of the original Magnolia Chocolait; most of them actually taste nothing like chocolate. Even today's Chocolait, I've heard (I haven't actually tried it since I am now a faithful Swiss Miss fan) doesn't even come close to the glory that was.

All this is activating my craving. I think I'll take a trip to a corner store and buy me a Nestle Chuckie. Not the cookie burst or peanut butter variant though.

Magnolia Chocolait image, mine.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...