The story of Horlicks is fascinating. It was mind boggling to know that this nourishing drink has been around for the past 84 years! Out of this, the maximum growth happened during the last 40 years, getting it more brand recognition. It was equally surprising to know that as per a survey by Nielsen, Horlicks leads in the health food drink category with a 46.2% market share, which is much more than Bournvita and Complan.
The way the drink came to India is also very interesting – Indian soldiers working in the British Army during World War II got it to India. It was originally not a health drink, it was actually an infant food formulation used in US by two British brothers. In grew in India because at that time, there was major milk shortage and Horlicks proved to be the perfect nourisher. And then the milk revolution, Operation Flood happened and there was worry was Horlicks would be wiped out as a nourisher.
At that time, around 1970’s, the brand was revamped. It was for the first time promoted as a drink which will add health to the entire family while Bournvita, at the same time, was promoting its drink as that which adds brain strength. Most fascinating aspect – at that time, it was Amitabh Bachchan’s deep voice which endorsed Horlicks on radio jingles. Indeed this brand of drink, most favored in South India, is a legacy.