Branston is a British food brand best known for the original Branston Pickle, a jarred pickled chutney first made in 1922 in the village of Branston near Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire by Crosse & Blackwell. However, the Branston factory proved to be uneconomical, and production was moved to Crosse & Blackwell subsidiary, E Lazenby & Sons in Bermondsey, London, where it invested in new buildings in 1924 and 1926, which remained in use until 1969.
In 2004, the pickle business was sold by Nestlé to Premier Foods and production was moved to Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. Premier Foods sold the brand to Mizkan in 2013, at which time it ceased to be labelled as Crosse and Blackwell because in Europe this name was sold separately to Princes Group. The pickle product sells over 17 million jars a year in the UK alone.
Additional Branston products include mayonnaise, tomato ketchup, brown sauce and salad cream.
Usually, if anyone fancies some baked beans they head straight to the Heinz label but in 2005, Premier Foods launched Branston Baked Beans. The marketing and promotion of this product was aimed at challenging Heinz’s dominance of the UK baked bean market. This marketing included an advert, featuring a Branston Bean Tin explaining how Branston Beans are very “saucy”. Promotional activities included a ‘Great British Bean Poll’ where members of the public across the country were invited to blind taste both ‘the brand leader’ (assumed to be Heinz) and Branston. In the poll, 76% of participants chose Branston over the brand leader.
Here at Jammy Toast we were hooked on the new Branston Baked Beans and even when Heinz elected to change their recipe in the face of Branston’s aggressive marketing, we stayed loyal to Branston – our new favourite beans.
Premier Foods have also recently extended the traditional Branston Pickle brand name by producing Branston Relishes in four different flavours: Hot Chilli & Jalapeño, Gherkin, Sweet Onion and Tomato & Red Pepper.
In 2015, a sweet chili-flavoured pickle was launched, and the brand’s rich and fruity sauce was relaunched, along with two new sauce flavours, rich and spicy and rich and smoky. In 2017, Branston launched its tomato ketchup, mayonnaise and brown sauce lines in single-serving sachet packaging.
Walkers once produced a variety of crisps called “Cheese and Branston Pickle”.
In 2013, it was announced that as part of an aggressive debt reduction strategy, Premier Foods would be selling the Branston brand to Japanese food manufacturer Mizkan Group for £92.5m, joining Sarson’s vinegar and Hayward’s pickled onions as recent Mizkan brand acquisitions. However, the Bury St Edmunds plant still continues to manufacture Branston products.
Razzi maintains that since we have moved over to Branston Baked Beans, other beans are now toast!
Hahaha see what he did there?