Thursday, March 29, 2007


I mentioned HP Sauce a couple of postings back...
Here is a mystery about the sauce produced by a virtual colleague of mine: Helen N.
It is about the recent change that befell the sauce...

Can you solve the mystery ?
There's also a movie to help you on another virtual colleague: Adam L's GEOGRAPHY AT THE MOVIES site.

Why have 105 MPs signed a petition?

An estimated 24million HP brown sauce bottles are made a year, earning around £40million a year for Heinz.

Demand for HP sauce is increasing by more than three per cent a year and it is sold in 69 countries.

In 2006 fish and chip chain Harry Ramsden's was sold to a Swedish family,

In 2006 The Body Shop was bought by French cosmetic firm L'Oreal

Typhoo Tea was sold to an Indian company last year

The original recipe for HP Sauce was invented in 1899 by Harry Palmer, from whom the initials 'HP' derive.

The sauce was originally called ‘Harry Palmer's Famous Epsom Sauce’.

F G Garton's Sauce Manufacturing began to market the brown sauce at the site in Aston, Birmingham, in 1903

The name was shortened to ‘HP’ after Mr Garton heard that a restaurant in the Houses of Parliament had begun serving it.

Mr Palmer, an avid gambler at the Epsom races, was forced to sell the recipe to cover his £150 debts to F G Garton, a grocer from Nottingham.

In the 1990s, the sauce was promoted on TV by boxer Frank Bruno, along with commentator Harry Carpenter.

More recently, it has been advertised as the sauce of the traditional British white van man, the hen night and the wedding punch-up.

Abbey National is now Spanish-owned, Germany's BMW makes the Mini, and Spanish infrastructure giant Grupo Ferrovial is bidding for control of Britain's airport operator BAA.

The Transport and General Worker's Union said that when Heinz took over, the firm promised there would be no shift in production

In 1988, British firm HP Foods was sold to French Danone for £199million.

Heinz said that the move, planned for March 2007, would improve efficiency and productivity

US food giant Heinz bought the maker of HP sauce in a £470m ($855m) deal in June 2005

HP Foods employs 450 workers at two UK factories - in Birmingham and Worcestershire - and one US plant in New Jersey.

Birmingham is now moving away from heavy manufacturing into the pharmaceutical and service industries

David Hobin, Heinz vice president said there was spare capacity at Heinz's Elst site in Holland and it did not make financial sense to keep open the Aston factory.

Heinz said the bottling operation for Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce will be returned to its site in Worcester.

About 125 jobs are expected to go at the Aston site in the move in March 2007, said its owners Heinz.

The Houses of Parliament are shown as a logo on the bottle's label, and it is served in Commons canteens.

The MPs have demanded Heinz rethinks plans to move production of the famous brown sauce to the Netherlands.

More than 100 MPs have joined the campaign to save Birmingham's HP Sauce factory.

The move is the latest in a long line of British institutions to go abroad in pursuit of cheaper manufacturing costs.

Heinz bought the HP Foods parent company last year from French firm Danone.

HP sauce which is made from a blend of malt vinegar, dates, molasses, apples, tomatoes, salt, sugar, flour and a secret blend of spices

Heinz beat UK rivals Premier Foods and Associated British Foods to buy HP Foods.

The Aston factory which normally runs three times a week.

Thanks to Helen and Adam for their hard work on this.

No comments: