04 September 2006

Heinz HP sauce goes dutch.

One of Britain’s most iconic sauce brands is likely to become another victim of a point of origin fraud with company owners Heinz announcing the brand is going to be made by the Dutch.

HP brown sauce (yes, we even have it in Australia) famously features the Houses of Parliament on its label and the announcement last month that it US parent Heinz wants to close its plant in Birmingham and move production to Holland has sent shockwaves through Britain. The sauce has been made in Birmingham for 103 years and the move will likely result in the loss of both jobs and the brand's most favoured status as the UK parliament’s brown sauce of choice.

Even more interesting is the proposal by rivals Branston to consider adopting the same symbol on their own Branston brown sauce bottle. Heinz' move has sparked off another round of hand wringing by the British about the importance of “Britishness” and point of origin as an emotional and pivotal part of culture.

Here at DIFFUSION we’re both defenders of point of origin and truth in labelling as important elements of brand heritage (see blog 7 February 2006 Points of Origin)


Stephen Godwin said...

Heinz is about to make the biggest mistake of their Lives... Already all over Britain people are turning away from the household Heinz brands... Branston have saved the day with their own beans, Brown and Red Sauce and even soups.. Now HP have moved the majority of its production over to the flatlands, its about time the government stepped in and Heinz forced to remove the House o'P from all there bottles and certainly the royal crests... Imagine how many bottles they will sell when the Houses O' P are replaced by a Windmill and a pair of Clogs... Why do they make Guinness in Ireland...? Cos it tastes better.. The age old recipe handed down from generation to generation of Brummies that have worked at the Aston plant, do you think us Brummies are stupid enough to give up the secret ingredient?? Well lets see how it tastes with Dyke water??

stephen byrne said...

As we have noted in our blog 02/06 blog Points of origin: putting premium beer makers in their place even premium beer owners like Sapporo do not produce beers for overseas markets in their points of origin. Guinness is the same. Brand owners need to be increasingly concerned as they destroying one of their fundamental points of difference.