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Candy Review: Horlicks Malties

Categories: Candy,Candy For Kids,Candy Reviews,Classic and Retro Candy,Energy Candy,Foreign (non-US) Candy,Hard Candy

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Horlicks Malties Wrapper

You don’t see too many beige-colored candies. Now I know why.

I was visiting my favorite retro candy store when I spotted a candy box marked with the familiar GSK logo. This was intriguing: any candy manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline – the major pharmaceutical company better known for Beano gas-prevention tablets and Breathe Right Strips – had to be amazing, right? Who knows candy better than the people who brought us Aquafresh, the first toothpaste with multiple colors? I just had to try Horlicks Malties.

Looking back, I’m not so sure my decision was wise.

Horlicks is best known in the United States – or at least it was about 70 years ago – for its malted milk balls. This was before someone came along and dunked them in chocolate, a vast improvement.

Malt is the milk/whey powder that makes up an ice-cream malt, minus the chocolate, ice cream or anything else that gives it flavor. Malties are malt powder pressed into Tums-sized (Tums are another GSK product, by the way) tablets. Malt powder has traditionally been touted as a natural energy source, kind of a prequel to Zone Bars. Delicious ingredients that make up the tablets include wheat flour, dried milk, vegetable fat and zinc oxide. Yummy!

Each box of Malties contains three individual packs with nine tablets each. Judging from the box, I assume they are meant as a snack for children. But biting into a beige Maltie is the equivalent of chewing a sand-flavored Tums. Dry, dry, dry, with an overwhelming flavor of canned milk. Needless to say, these were not a hit with our kids.

I don’t think this product was produced with the U.S. market in mind. On the front of the box is a wide-eyed scarecrow with a hot-dog nose riding a skateboard. He is being stalked by grinning bees that are about to smash into a one-room schoolhouse. I don’t know about you, but as a parent, this is not a reassuring image. In England, Horlicks powder is promoted as a sleep aid. That scarecrow doesn’t look like he’s slept in ages. Better slow down on the Malties.

So, if you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary, a little dry and gritty, why not give Malties a try? But, remember I warned you about the scarecrow.

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12 Responses to “Candy Review: Horlicks Malties”

  1. 1
    Great Chocolate Gifts says:

    :) thanks for the review… I haven’t tried those but i think i’ll just skip it then… :)

  2. 2
    amypaige says:

    sounds like a product that gsk could hide prescription drugs in-for people who don’t want to take a pill. awful.

  3. 3
    JPLRUBIN says:

    Maybe they’d be interesting to add to some sort of cream or cake? Little crunch? I don’t know, I’m trying to save a crash and burn candy here.

  4. 4
    Jeni says:

    Uhm… are you sure that was a candy and not some sort of medicine?

  5. 5
    Michelle says:

    No, from what it appears on the package, it says “asli” – “original” in Malay. These candies are primarily for a Southeast Asian audience – Malay or Indonesian, perhaps, judging on the word etymology. (I lived in Singapore for ten years, and still visit twice a year.)

    I know, Malties aren’t a great candy for most people. But for those who grew up on it – it’s been around since the 50′s in Asia – it’s basically a candy that you grow to love. In place of the bold flavor of most chocolate-covered pieces and crunch, you’re left with a slight sweetness and a condensed milk (of sorts) flavor as it dissolves in your mouth. It’s a mild tasting, relatively unassertive sweet – but the energy boost you can get with it is pretty AMAZING. (They have chocolate versions in Asia too – those aren’t as good though, because they use cocoa in the mixture.)

  6. 6
    Dan says:

    Thanks, all, for the replies. This is my first post on Candy Addict, and I’m excited to see it generate some interest.

    Michelle, thanks for lending your thoughts and experiences with Malties. They add a lot to the post, I believe. Though I still can’t quite call these a good candy, at least I can understand a bit more where the Horlicks people are coming from.


  7. 7
    Robby says:

    Hilarious and superbly written article! Great to have you on staff and can’t wait to read more of your work.

  8. 8
    andy abraham says:

    This is a great idea to add to dessert recipes…



  9. 9
    misagi says:

    Technically Maltie’s aren’t really a candy. They were originally produced as a calcium booster for people with lactose intolerance…I should know, I went though my entire childhood eating two-three packs of those a day because I couldn’t have Milk and Dry milk is hard to find in Asia -Which, as someone already mentioned is where these ‘candy’s’ are common-.

    No, they ain’t great tasting. But it wasn’t until recently they started being sold as a true candy rather then a supposed easier and better tasting way to get us poor intolerant kiddies to have calcium. That being said, they’re still one of my fave treats to this day, more out of Nostaglia then anything else.

  10. 10
    Dwen says:

    Yes, these are manufactured in Malaysia.(I just bought a pack today and are munching on some as I type). I agree its a nostalgic candy, as I remember happily munching on em in my younger days. Then they seemed to be sadly discontinued for a time (90s) and now their back.

    These malted milk tablets were around during WW2 and were regularly included in both British Commonwealth and American forces military ration and survival packs. If you ask anyone who served on the allied side they would probably remember them. (The taste should still be the same..I hope)
    Hence for military re-enactors they could be of great interest to those who are interested in reproducing allied military rations of the era.


  11. 11
    Vicky says:

    Thank You, I so miss these from my childhood. I will give these a try. I so love Horlick’s Malt Tablets.

  12. 12
    John says:

    I grew up looting Horlicks malted milk tablets form my grandfathers stash. He had a ginormus sweet tooth. He also owned a candy store in the 50′s so he was probably some sort of pseudo expert on taste. Like most great candy, much of which is only available in Europe, the flavor is delicate. Modern candies are way too rich and sweet. Cadbury Wispa, Chocolite, Milkshake, and the original whatchamacallit are examples of discontinued great candy. I am so happy to see that the malted tablets remain!

    -3rd generation sweet tooth

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