Magazine article Marketing

GREAT BRITISH BRANDS: HP - This British Institution, Which Made an Ambitious Businessman Rich, Is Now the Property of a French Outfit

Magazine article Marketing

GREAT BRITISH BRANDS: HP - This British Institution, Which Made an Ambitious Businessman Rich, Is Now the Property of a French Outfit

Article excerpt

Edwin Samson Moore was the ruthless businessman behind the HP Sauce brand. He established the Midland Vinegar Company at Tower Road, Aston Cross, in 1875 and quickly established a reputation as an energetic and outgoing young entrepreneur.

The Midland Vinegar Company went from strength to strength, but Samson was a very ambitious man, still looking for a big deal to make his fortune.

He was also a man who chased up his debts. This led him one day to the small grocery shop that belonged to FG Garton of Nottingham.

In the back yard of Garton's shop, Samson saw a giant copper cauldron that was being used to brew sauce. Next to it was Garton's little cart, bearing a board on which was spelled out, in clumsy painted letters, the words Garton's HP Sauce. When asked for an explanation of the letters 'HP', Garton replied that he had heard a faint rumour that a bottle of his sauce had been seen in a restaurant at the Houses of Parliament.

Samson immediately offered to cancel Garton's debt and paid him pounds 150 for the recipe for his sauce. From these crafty beginnings in 1903, HP Sauce grew steadily to become one of Britain's best-known sauce brands, with a loyal following of consumers who have taken the sauce's popularity with them as they settled in different corners of the world.

HP is still so popular in Canada - where it is known as HP Steak Sauce - that it is manufactured locally to exactly the same recipe as was used in the UK until 15 years ago (when it was slightly reformulated to update the taste for the UK palate).

The sauce is also popular in Scandinavia, where a local dish, similar to bubble and squeak, is traditionally eaten with a healthy dollop of HP Sauce.

In every country where British ex-patriates have settled, HP has followed.

It was exported to the colonies from the early 1900s and is still sold and marketed in South Africa, Australia, Malta, Cyprus, Hong Kong and beyond.

The HP brand was first advertised on the sides of a fleet of small, covered wagons pulled by donkeys and, in 1925, was promoted as 'The one and only HP Sauce'. During the 1930s and 1940s, low-key advertising used lines such as 'Make your food budget go further with HP Sauce' and 'HP Sauce makes every bite a tasty bite'. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.