Blog: Ovaltiney, or New Traditionalist?

Catherine Sleep | 13 September 2005

To promote the launch of its new drink variety, Ovaltine commissioned a survey to find out what makes women aged between 25 and 45 tick. Since I fit neatly into that category I looked at the findings with interest. What they suggest is that traditional values are reasserting themselves in today’s hectic lifestyle, prompting the creation of a new demographic category: the New Traditionalist. Well, at least it sounds less contrived than the Rurties (rural arties).

The New Traditionalist is clued up on nutrition but rejects food fads. She shuns high fashion in favour of practical classics, and enjoys making her home comfortable and pleasant. She’s getting into knitting and baking – although more for entertainment than from necessity, unlike her counterpart of fifty years ago. Not that she’s about to give up the gender equality gains won by her older sisters: working life was cited most frequently when asked what participants thought was better today than 50 years ago.

I could echo most of this, although that has as much to do with turning 30 and becoming a mother as anything else. It’s hardly revolutionary, but the New Traditionalist label does have a ring of truth to it. We’re all into antiques now, and when you worry that you might be blown up on your way to work, there’s a natural instinct to cherish your home and the time you spend there. Snuggling up with a mug of Ovaltine fits the image well; making the drink hip might be a greater challenge.

Probably the most interesting thing I learned about Ovaltine through the launch was that it is only in Britain that it is perceived to be a bedtime drink. Elsewhere it is consumed mainly at breakfast, to provide energy to help consumers get through the day.

What would the Ovaltineys make of that? Yes, I am of course FAR too young to remember the Ovaltineys first-hand, but the concept lives on.

The New Traditionalist


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