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 148,463 pages of information and 233,888 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Premier Foods

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The Company was founded by Harry Solomon and David Thompson in 1975 as Hillsdown Holdings. The name came from Thompson's house - Hillsdown.

In 1981 it acquired Lockwood Foods, a canned foods business.

In 1986 it bought various food businesses from Beecham Group

1990 Acquired Premier Brands which included Typhoo and Cadbury's drinks.

It was bought by the private equity company Hicks, Muse, Tate and Furst in 1999.

2002 Premier Brands bought Nestlé's ambient foods business including Sarson's vinegar and Branston Pickle[1]

2004 Premier Foods became a public company and was listed on the London Stock Exchange.

In February 2005 Premier Foods acquired from Kraft Foods their ambient desserts businesses including Bird's Custard and Angel Delight.

In June 2005 Marlow Foods, makers of Quorn, was purchased and this was followed in October by the acquisition of Cauldron, consolidating the two leading brands in the meat-free category.

In October 2005 Premier Foods announced that it was selling Typhoo Tea to India's Apeejay Surrendra Group for $140 million.

In October 2005 Premier Foods launched Branston Baked Beans. The marketing and promotion of this product was aimed squarely 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." Heinz was subsequently obliged to re-evaluate its advertising strategy in the face of this aggressive activity.

In 2006 Premier Foods acquired Campbells' UK and Ireland businesses for £460 million. Brands included in the deal were Oxo, Batchelors, Homepride and Fray Bentos. The Campbells' cans had be re-branded as Batchelor's Condensed Soup (as the brand itself was not acquired) but labels still carried the label "Formerly Campbell's. Same great taste." Subsequently the closure, in December 2007, of the King's Lynn depot where Fray Bentos pies are made, was announced.

In March 2007 Premier Foods completed the takeover of its rival RHM for £1.2 billion. The company now produced many major brands including:[2]

In July 2007 Premier foods announced it was to close the following RHM sites: Bristol, Droylsden (makers of Robertson's Golden Shred since 1890 and Sharwood's brands), Middlewich (makers of Bisto and Salts), Wythenshawe (makers of Sharwood's Pappadoms and Paxo), Ledbury (makers of specialist jams) and Reading (Foodservices).

2015 Has 13 locations in the UK and employs 3,675 persons. Brands include Sharwood’s, Loyd Grossman, Homepride, Bisto, OXO, Paxo, Batchelors, Smash, Ambrosia, Angel Delight, Bird’s, Mr. Kipling, Cadbury, and Lyons.[3]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times , May 04, 2002
  2. 2007 Annual report
  3. 2014-15 Annual report