Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 143,439 pages of information and 230,054 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Batchelors Foods

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March 1939.
April 1953.
December 1953.
February 1954.
April 1954.
October 1954.
January 1955.
January 1955.
January 1955.
February 1955.
April 1955.
May 1955.

1895 William Batchelor discovered a way to can vegetables, such as mushy peas, and formed Batchelors Foods.

1913 August: Whilst on holiday in Bridlington he died aged 53. His daughter Ella (who became Ella Gaskin), aged 22, took over leadership of the company and developed it to include processed peas, eventually becoming a household name.

WWII Due to staff difficulties and rationing in the war, the company was bought by James Van den Bergh of Unilever in 1943, where it became part of Van den Bergh Foods (later based in Crawley).

1948, Ella Gaskin retired and her younger brother Maurice Batchelor took over. The company took over Poulton and Noel, another soup company.

1949 the first dried soup, chicken noodle flavour, was sold.

1972 Cup A Soup was launched.

2001 January: Unilever took over Bestfoods. In order to be allowed to take over that company, Unilever had to sell off some brands for monopoly regulation. It sold off Batchelors and Oxo to Campbell's Soups, whose UK operations were acquired by Premier Foods in 2006.


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