For many people (me included), hearing the word “Ovaltine” doesn’t remind them of the actual milk beverage. It reminds them of the famous Seinfeld episode where Jerry helps struggling comedian Kenny Bania come up with some new material. “Why do they call it ‘Ovaltine’? The mug is round, the jar is round… they should call it ’roundtine’.
So why DO they call it Ovaltine? They mug is in fact round and is so is the jar. Well it turns out that Ovaltine orginated in Berne, Switzerland and was called “Ovumaltine” – from ovum, Latin for “egg”, and malt, its main ingredients. After gaining popularity, the drink was exported to Britain and the name needed to be trademarked. However, during the registration, a misspelling occured which led to the name being shortened to “Ovaltine”. From then on Ovumaltine was referred to as Ovaltine in all English speaking markets. So there you go, it looks like Kenny Bania might need to go back to Jerry’s apartment for more material!