Business history of Horlicks

Originally developed as a nutritional supplement for infants and people with bad digestion, malted milk changed how Americans ate.

Horlicks the malted beverage was invented by two English brother James and William Horlick, inhabitants of Ruardean west of Cinderford.

James Horlick, an English pharmacist who had worked in England, came to United States in 1875 at the urging of his brother, William Horlick who wished to manufacture a Liebig-type infant food.

The two brothers team up to start a company in 1873 in the Town of Mt. Pleasant just northwest of Racine.

The Malted Milk was patented in 1883, first intended as an infant food under the name ‘diastoid’: it was later renamed ‘Horlicks’ and a large factory was built for its English production at Slough between 1906 and 1908.

James and William Horlick created the idea and formula for malted milk in Racine, Wisconsin in the late 19 century. It was to be an easily digested powdered baby formula high in protein and carbohydrates.

William was granted a U.S patented for the first malted malt drink powder that could be mixed with hot water. The beverage was said to promote sleep when drunk at bedtime.

The drink has become famous in United Kingdom, India and South East Asia such as Philippines and Malaysia.

The firm was sold to Horlicks Limited of England in 1946. Later it was acquired by the Beecham Group in 1969 and is currently a GlaxoSmithKline brand.

The Horlicks brand was re-launched in 2002, with the tag ‘Nourishment for Internal resistance’.
Business history of Horlicks
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