Lyons Tea


....................Including Confectionary

Grocery & Confectionery Products 1920-1939

Although limited production of some grocery and confectionery items started at Cadby Hall before 1920 regular production did not commence until after the new Greenford tea factory became operational in 1921. This vast new production facility enabled management to diversify from tea and coffee into a range of different grocery and confectionery products which were progressively introduced to complement the expanding growth of packet tea and ground coffee sales. Management were so proud of their new factory (others were greatly impressed) that arrangements were made for the King and Queen to visit the facilities in 1923. The precise date when grocery and confectionery operations started are not known but a toffee advertisement appeared in the Lyons Mail journal of August 1922 and it must be assumed that toffee production commenced sometime before this. Indeed in the Lyons Mail of 1922 it was reported: 'Although we are supplying a great number of outlying districts, there are still enormous possibilities for the development of the Lyons' Tea business, and elaborate plans have been drawn up whereby no village containing any shop at all will remain without having Lyons' Tea and other Lyons' commodities on sale, such as Custard Powder, Jelly Crystals, Chocolate, Toffee and Tomato Sauce.' Other early grocery lines were liquid coffee essence which sold under the brand name of Lyons' Coffee & Chicory Essence (later this was called BEV and it became a best seller during the war years). Cocoa and drinking chocolate too were greatly expanded when the Greenford factory came on stream. Soon afterwards salad cream was added under the brand of Lyonaize. Both the tomato sauce and salad cream products had strong competition from the well-established Heinz brands and as a consequence they were not very successful. A lemonade alternative called Lyonsade was also introduced. The custard powder and jelly crystals were moderately successful but again were competing with the strong branded products of Bird's Custard Powder and Chivers and Hartley's jelly. Dried milk and cream powders were introduced under the brand name of Milkal (milk powder) and Kookal (cream powder). These products were made at a factory in the West Country, under the direction of a former Lyons laboratory chemist, and the operation was eventually sold to United Dairies Ltd. Jams, marmalade, mincemeat and tinned fruit were also added to the grocery lines but these were made at the Rannoch Road factory in Fulham. The jam was made only for the Lyons departments (jam tart production being a large user) but the marmalade was sold to retailers in attractive stone jars. Honey too was processed and sold in a way that gave it the appearance of cream. Baked beans in tomato sauce were also made here but only for use in the Lyons own catering establishments; there is no evidence that baked beans were sold to retailers.

Chocolate and Confectionery

Chocolate was first produced at Cadby Hall from 1913 and when production moved to the new Greenford factory in 1921 a Chocolate Sales Department was created to manufacture and sell a large range of chocolate and confectionery items. This department grew in size despite the number of established chocolate companies then competing for business. A large part of chocolate production (slab chocolate) ended up with other food departments; the ice cream department for example used it for choc ices, the bakery used it in the production of chocolate Swiss Rolls and Choc Rolls and the Corner Houses used it in the production of their own specialised hand made chocolates. By 1939 it had been necessary to establish four distribution depots in the London area and twelve provincial depots from Newcastle in the north to Plymouth in the south and Ashford in the east to Swansea in the west. A specialist sales operation was established to market the large range of chocolate and confectionary items. Some of the more popular chocolates were Dickens Chocolates and after 1925 Nippy Chocolates. Confectionery lines included: Wine Gums, Barley Sugar, Humbugs, Toffee, Jellied Fruits, Acid Tablets, Bullseyes, Butterscotch, Almond Rock, Buttered Brazils, Créme de Menthe, Turkish Delight, Sugared Almonds, Fudge, Petit Fours, Biscuits, Slam Bar, Crispy Fingers, Jakko Bars, Buzz Bars and much more. Special Christmas fancy boxes were introduced to meet all pockets from the extravagant to those of modest means. The Chocolate & Confectionery departments continued to thrive right up the Second World War when raw materials such as sugar and cocoa beans became increasingly more difficult to obtain. This severely restricted the manufacture of all confectionery items and more effort was concentrated on the production of food. After the war the Chocolate & Confectionery Department attempted to restart their production but ingredients were still in short supply, right up to 1954, and with more emphasis being placed on food the Chocolate and Confectionery Department suffered from investment. Nevertheless a number of new confectionery products emerged (Buzz Bars, Mint Chocs (introduced in July 1947), Jallolates, Bullseyes, American Candies and Truffles to name a few) but the business never regained its once prominent position. Compared with the other production departments of the company the Chocolate & Confectionary Department was a Cinderella operation and management came to the conclusion that to make progress it would be essential to operate on a much larger scale. To do this meant either investing heavily in promotion and advertising, or acquiring one or more companies to add to the recently formed subsidiary Rolls Confectionery Ltd. The alternative was to withdraw from the business altogether and this is the conclusion which management came to. Accordingly, in May 1960 (effective on 1 July 1960) the chocolate and confectionary businesses were sold to Callard & Bowser Ltd, a subsidiary of Arthur Guinness Sons & Co Ltd. The manufacture of chocolate couverture, used in the firms own factories and the Maison Lyons range of chocolates/confectionery, continued and remained unchanged. In fact the Couverture Department boomed in the late 1960s and to meet demand new machinery was installed in 1969 which enabled the factory to more than double its output. The average output per week was 65 tons with Lyons Maid, Symbol Biscuits, Bread Division, Findus Eskimo Frood, Hotels, Catering Division, Town & County Catering, Catering Sales and Bakery all taking couverture product.

In 1986 Lyons Tetley, as Lyons Groceries Ltd had become, decided to use their salesmen to sell a chocolate product made by one of France's major chocolate manufacturers, Poulain. It was called Super Rocher and this type of product was known in the confectionery trade as a 'countline', i.e. it was sold singly from a carton on the counter. Foil wrapped and weighing 43g, each chocolate was priced at 30p. As the name implies, the Super Rocher was considerably larger than a conventional chocolate and was made from a mix of milk chocolate, hazelnuts and praline; typically European. Though Super Rocher had been available in the UK on a limited basis from 1985, it was not the first, or only, product of this kind to be sold in the UK. Others were already established such as the market leader, Ferrero Rocher from Italy, with a major share of sales in the UK estimated to be £40 million. Other brands included Suchard Bouchee, Coté d'Or Bouchée, Rowntree Mackintosh's Savana and Eclipse and Terry of York's Pyramint. The terms of the business arrangement with Poulain are not known but there would not seem to have been any cost of sales attached with the deal as salesmen were already employed to call on confectioners to sell Lyons Tetley's Cluster Bars (see below)

Coffee Variants and Grocery Products 1950-1990

Throughout the war years the liquid coffee essence known as BEV soared as its use in hospitals, factory canteens, ARP Stations and the home continued to grow. One if its benefits was that no sugar was needed to sweeten the drink when this commodity was still rationed; even after 1945 its sales continued to be buoyant right into the 1950s. Another coffee product was introduced in the late 1940s called Quoffy. Its production process consisted of a blend of ground coffee which was brewed in a specially designed plant to produce concentrated liquor many time stronger than ground coffee. This was then blended with glucose and sprayed into a chamber, 40 feet high, where the moisture was evaporated from the spray by currents of hot air turning the mixture into a fine powder, very similar to instant coffee as we know it today (see Subsidiary Companies Sol Café and Sol Tenco). Quoffy, like most soluble coffees, readily absorbed moisture and as a consequence it was packed in sealed tins in an air-conditioned area of the factory. Quoffy sold well in the late 1940s and early 1950s and the production process was running seven days a week in 1951. Another coffee product called Chico was launched in 1952. This was similar to Quoffy, made with chicory, but was less expensive. Much of the UK generated interest in coffee drinking was introduced during the Second World War by American servicemen stationed in the UK.

Ready Brek

Although the Chocolate and Confectionary businesses did not perform well after the war the Tea, Coffee and Grocery sectors were moderately successful. It has already been said that the Second World War caused considerable disruption to some food processes and none more so than in the production of ice cream. During this period the government imposed severe restrictions on its production bringing it a virtual standstill from September 1940 until December 1944. The lack of milk solids in ice cream making caused immense difficulties for manufacturers, who turned to alternatives such as dextrinised wheat flour but by 1942 the government prohibited all ice cream manufacture.

With the cessation of ice cream manufacture, the Cadby Hall chemists turned their attentions to dextrinised wheat flour and a sugar substitute which they called Malogel. This continued to be produced for a period after the war, since bakery management discovered it had a sweetening and texturing effect when used in some cake recipes. When ice cream production resumed on 8 December 1944 the Malogel process transferred to Greenford, where it played an important role in the development of the successful Ready Brek cereal.

After the abolition of rationing, the Tea Division became more autonomous and it began to experiment with items other than tea. Walter Pitts, a factory manager in charge of Malogel, started to experiment with a liquid made from oat flakes. After passing this through the roller driers used in the making of Malogel he found that the resulting dried mixture could be reconstituted with milk to form a highly acceptable porridge substitute. Large-scale manufacture initially proved difficult but with Kenneth Gluckstein's encouragement and through Lyons' engineering innovations the problems were eventually overcome. The new product was launched in 1957 as Ready Brek, an instant porridge. Made from rolled oats, oat flour and malt extract, consumers simply had to add hot milk (and sugar if desired). At first, Ready Brek sales were very promising, but after five years they reached a plateau. Extensive market research at this time indicated, to Lyons' utter surprise, that people who ate traditional porridge did not buy Ready Brek at all. Half the consumption was accounted for by children, of whom 70 per cent were under the age of fifteen. The idea that instant porridge was in itself attractive was therefore false, and Lyons decided to reposition Ready Brek to a children's market. Using clever advertising aimed at mothers and their children, Lyons succeeded in matching the product with its market. By 1964 Ready Brek was the largest single contributor to the Tea Division's profits, apart from tea itself. Television commercials used the slogan 'Ready Brek - central heating for kids' and depicted children supposedly glowing in winter weather after eating the hot breakfast cereal. By the mid-1970s, having added chocolate and butterscotch flavours, Ready Brek was established in third place in the UK cereal market, taking an even greater share of business in the autumn and winter months. A Baby-Brek alternative was added in October 1973. The new product was the result of two years extensive research and was an oat cereal with added vitamins and protein designed for babies between three months and two years. Lyons Tetley (as the company became known in April 1973) drew upon the latest medical research, especially into infant obesity, and with the help of a leading pediatrician, produced a baby food to ensure a balanced diet, if used as directed. As well as explicit, precise directions printed on the pack, a measuring spoon was included to help mothers give their babies the right amount of food.

The breakfast cereal market was further exploited by the introduction of '8 till 1' which, after test marketing, was expanded nationally in April 1972. Comprising a mixture of oats, wheat, raisins, hazelnuts and demerara sugar, the new packet cereal was aimed at the growing muesli market but cost slightly less than the competition. As its name suggested, '8 till 1' was marketed as a health food which prevented 'mid-morning hunger pangs'. It was introduced to 300 trade guests, including Sir John Cohen of Tesco, at a cocktail party on 4 February 1972.

At conferences in Harrogate and Coventry in August 1984 Lyons Tetley announced a re-launch of their Ready Brek cereal with dramatic presentations of their plans. While disco lights stabbed the stage and the sound of pop music filled the hall a group of young dancers appeared and performed the latest 'Brek' dance - a variation on a craze then sweeping the country called break-dancing. In the past, Ready Brek advertising was aimed primarily at mothers, the famous halo-type glow emphasizing how warming the product was for their children. The new strategy was aimed at children themselves and was intended to show how much fun Ready Brek was. The re-launch was complimented by a £2 million TV advertising campaign featuring a 'Joe Cool'-type figure who ate Ready Brek and then 'Brek' dances down the street with youthful jinks. The reorientation of advertising towards children was followed in 1983 with a BMX (bicycle with front wheel small than rear) promotion further increasing sales by 10 per cent. Packaging was given a new look, and while still keeping the Ready Brek glow, the children on the packaging were dressed in leisure clothes instead of school uniforms thus a more fun image. Some of the product descriptions were also changed, for example Chocolate flavour was renamed Coco Brek and a new Fruit'n'Nut Brek was introduce. The new packs went into the shops in August in time for the TV advertising in September. Sales showed an instant success and the Greenford factory was hard pressed to keep demand satisfied. Following the re-launch of Ready Brek at least one, and sometime two, promotions were aimed at children each year covering a wide range of interests and helped to maintain Lyons Tetley's market position in the cereal market as number three.

1986 saw the introduction of Ready Eddie. This followed a survey which indicated that as many as 30 per of children were found to have some influence over their mother's choice of family breakfast cereal. Testing of a commercial showed a tremendous response to Ready Eddie; children reacted positively at every stage, to the character itself, to the storyline and the music. Ready Eddie possessed a magical ability to transform himself into a train, a puff of smoke or anything he chose, and in these guises embarked on a series of adventures designed to enthrall younger television viewers. In 1987 Lyons introduced a new range of Ready Brek cereal aimed at the older child in the 7-10 age range. The new variety was called Country-Brek and was claimed to have more taste and texture than the smooth, creamy Ready Brek. The change in texture was achieved by the introduction of wheat bran. The back of the packs featured a series of three cartoon adventures titled 'Ready Eddie's guide to being totally and completely brill at ‚'school, athletics and pop music'. The pack detailed his phenomenal achievements in each discipline. On the back of the Country Brek pack, Ready Eddie demonstrated his amazing prowess at welly-throwing. The launch products contained an in-pack sheet of eight Ready Eddie transfers. A wall chart could be obtained by sending away 95p plus two proofs of purchase. The wall chart stretched from outer space to the depths of the oceans and came complete with a variety of stick-on glow-in-the-dark Ready Eddies in various guises. In December 1987 a Ready Eddie book was published containing jokes, puzzles, cartoons etc. The book 'Fifty Brill Things To Do Before Breakfast' had thirty large pages in full colour. Lyons Tetley continued to use Ready Eddied in various promotional campaigns right up into the 1990s and he proved to be one of their most famous and successful characters. Ready Brek itself had been a very successful product having been in continuous production for 33 years. The first sale of Ready Brek is claimed by Fred Reynolds . It was on New Year's Day, he remembers, that he and a colleague took the warming winter cereal on to the streets of west London for the first time. He also remembers the first large-scale marketing support for the new product ‚ a cereal bowl offer. This was followed by a Stanley Matthews Soccer Coaching Series. In June 1990 Lyons Tetley sold the Ready Brek and cereal business (including their cereal Cluster Bars made at Wrexham (see below) to Weetabix. Part of the sale was an agreement to continue to manufacture Ready Brek in the Grocery factory at Greenford for 12 months thereafter.

Tea Division Reorganisation

By 1963 the Tea Division's marketing team (which included the grocery department) had undergone a reorganisation which had taken two years to plan and implement. Two senior brand managers were appointed each responsible for a Brand Group; R. C. Davis who joined from J. Walter Thompson, and B. H. Silverman who was previously with McCann-Erickson and Lintas. Later in the year a more radical change took place when the sales force converted from a van selling operation to a sales representative operation who took orders which were delivered later. The salesmen were equipped with cars and gave up their vans. In January 1968 The Tea Division were integrated with Symbol Biscuits and the 125 salesmen's journeys were replaced by 177. Order forms for tea and biscuits products were merged by computer, for 32,000 dealers, and eleven miles of paper, two foot wide, were printed in time for the new changes. In March 1969 the brand marketing of Tea Division was changed again. Instead of two brand groups under Brand Group Managers, three Market Planning Managers supervised the three main sections, or Profit Centres as Tea Division preferred to call them: Tea & Coffee, Groceries and Biscuits. Shortly afterwards the division became Lyons Groceries Ltd with Frank Merry as chairman. In 1970 a new administration block was built at Greenford. Also in 1969 Lyons acquired W. Symington & Co Ltd, the soup and table jelly manufacturers (see separate subsidiary entry on this site). This formed part of the grocery sector but operated independently under its own chairman. After the Tetley Tea Company acquisition in late 1972 Lyons Groceries Ltd and the Tetley Tea Company were merged (April 1973) to form Tetley Tea Ltd.

Pudding & Pastry Mixes

Pastry mixes were made, and sold, by Lyons in the 1930s and most probably before that. A 1938 cake catalogue lists Puff Pastry and Flaky Pasty Mix, Pure Beef Suet and Ready Mix Steamed Puddings. Like many of the cake items these products were dropped during the war years and mixes did not re-emerge until 1957 with Ready Brek. By the mid to late 1960s there was evidence of a decline in the United Kingdom packet tea market and these losses were offset by the continuing growth of Ready Brek and other cereal products. Pudding mixes, which had been re-introduced in about 1964 (the precise date is not known) also began to make headway but no investment in these lines took place until the early 1970s when there was a National re-launch of the mixes. One of the main reasons for the interest being shown by housewives in instant mixes was the increasing cost of processed food. Not wanting to give up their traditional cakes many turned to the more sophisticated ready mixes. The six Lyons Tetley products were Short Pastry Mix in 8 oz. and 12 oz. packs; Sponge Pudding Mix, Sweetened Suet Mix and Unsweetened Suet Pudding Mix, in 8 oz. packs; Batter Mix in 6 oz. packs and Sponge Cake Mix in 8.5 oz. packs. The recommended retail prices were 14.5p for the 12 oz. Short Pastry and 11.5p for the rest. Stronger colours were used on the new packaging giving a more distinctive visual impact. All the ingredients, including sugar, were included with only Sponge Cake Mix requiring a fresh egg. Following the re-introduction of the mixes a cooking accessory in the form of chocolate chips was launched under the J. Lyons & Co name and was called Polka Dots. It is thought that this line was marketed by the Groceries Department but they were probably made by the Chocolate Department both of which were based at Greenford. The pure chocolate chips could be used in the preparation of biscuits where they required no treatment or they could melted to a paste and used for sponge topping or filling or for pouring over ice cream. Indeed six recipes were printed on the packaging of Polka Dots which referred to Lyons Sponge Cake Mix and Lyons Sponge Pudding Mix. In 1988 Parfait Plain Chocolate was introduced to complement Polka Dots. These mixes and accessories were followed in 1976 by White Bread Mix, Doughnut Mix and Brown Bread Mix. In April 1977 Tetley launched a Cheesecake Mix with real fruit topping. Called Lyons Continental Dessert Cakes the four flavours joined a fast-growing cheesecake market. Each pack (Blackcurrant, Cherry, Apricot and Redcurrant) was 11 oz. and could make six generous portions. The retail price was 49p which represented about thirty per cent of the cost of frozen cheesecakes at that time; their closest rival in terms of quality and appearance. Tetley's management predicted that the market was worth £3 million a year and by the spring of 1978 they would have thirty per cent of the market. In April 1978 two new flavours were added; Hazelnut & Coffee Dessert Cake and Mint & Chocolate Flavour Dessert Cake. Both products, like their forerunners, were made by adding milk and butter as necessary and left in the fridge for an hour before being served. However, the new products (Hazelnut & Coffee and Mint & Chocolate) did appear to sell well because in March 1981 they were replaced by Strawberry and Pineapple. By now, 1981, the cheesecake mix market was worth £9 million a year, with fruit topped varieties accounting for 30 per cent of sales by volume. Lyons Tetley claimed to be the clear market leader in this sector with 66 per cent of total volume sales recorded in October/November 1980. In 1982 a subtle name change was introduced for the cheesecake mixes. Instead of Lyons Continental Dessert Cakes, Lyons Continental Desserts was substituted because research and experienced showed that they were being used as desserts after a meal rather than as cakes. It was not only a change in name which occurred at this time, the packs contained 10 per cent more fruit topping and the weight of the packs increased to 355g from 330g. The five flavours were: Cherry, Blackcurrant, Strawberry, Pineapple and Apricot. In 1983 a promotion offering five weekends for two, with all expenses paid and £100 in spending money, at luxury hotels in Europe was introduced. The competition was linked to the Egon Ronay organisation in which entrants had to identify four languages used for the phrase: 'Thank you for a wonderful meal' and describe what really makes a good meal; the sold called eliminator. A meal at the restaurant of their choice, chosen from the Egon Ronay TWA Guide to Good Restaurants in Europe, was part of the prize for the winners, who spent a weekend at a luxury hotel in the same city. Entries had to be accompanied by two proofs of purchase from the Continental Desserts range. The packs also featured a 50p off coupon for the Egon Ronay Lucas Guide for gourmets on a family budget.

In June 1977 a rather unusual quick-meal product was launched called Savoury Sizzles. When cooked these took on the appearance of large crisps. The savoury fries were made by adding water to the mix and spoonfuls were then added to hot pan oil, for about two minutes, and were then eaten hot, either as a snack or an accompaniment to another dish. Each 80g sachet made about twelve Savoury Sizzles in either Smokey Bacon or Cheese & Onion flavours.

New home mixes were introduced in November 1978; Farmhouse bran-based bread and Gingerbread Men, the first time either product has been available in mix form. At the same time Lyons Tetley re-launched their White Bread Mix and Doughnut Mix with new formulation and packaging for both. Two Brand names, Baking Day for the bread mixes and Teatime Treats for the cakes, were chosen to establish a firm identity for the new ranges and with them Lyons Tetley's aim to expand their share of the £16 million home-baking market. The two Baking Day bread mixes were aimed at those families who preferred 'old-fashioned' crusty oven bread. They were intended to be an improvement on shop bread not a substitute. Both bread mixes were produced in flexible 10 oz. pouches and with the simple addition of 8.5 fluid ozs. of water each produced a 14 oz. loaf. Instruction on the packaging enabled a tin, Coburg or plaited loaf to be made. The retail price for both was 19.5p, cheaper than existing brands. The Gingermen Mix, available in a 7 oz. carton, produced up to 10 individual biscuits. An easy cut-out on the back of the packet removed the difficulty of creating proper shapes. The retail price was 19p. Pudding mixes were also re-launched in April/May 1979 under the name of Complete Mixes. The three mixes - batter, pastry and suet - had by now already established a reputation for quality and convenience but it was felt time to change the packaging and introduced some recipes on the packaging. The Complete Batter Mix was especially successful especially in the period leading up the Shrove Tuesday (pancake day). It was also used for Yorkshire pudding and Toad-in-the-Hole, traditional British foods.

From about 1976 all these mixes had been tested in a special kitchen at Greenford to ensure that the advice and claims on the packaging were accurate. Linda Claridge was responsible for testing the mix products and had joined Lyons Tetley after three years training for a Home Economics Certificate at Harrow Technical College. The course included recipe development and food photography. Her job was to ensure that clear instructions for making up the contents, which she did by trying out different methods, oven temperatures and cooking times, until the best results were achieved. Linda also made up recipes which were printed on the packaging and press handouts to help stimulate consumer interest. Another part of her work was to assist in the development of new products or extensions to existing ranges. She worked closely with the Quality Assurance Laboratory and advised on photography to ensure an accurate image representation for the consumer.

Cluster Bars

In 1985 Lyons Tetley entered the snack confectionery market, reported to be worth £21 million per year, with the launch of the Cluster Bars which, at the time, was said to be the their biggest product launch since Ready Brek in 1957. Formulated after intensive consumer research the ingredients included fruit, nuts, oats, crisped rice and honey. This market was said to be one of the fastest-growing in the grocery trade. Though cereal bars were initially conceived as a health-food store line, just over half of sales at that time were distributed through the grocery trade with the remainder being sold in health-food shops, chemists and confectioners/tobacconists/newsagents. Several different makes of cereal bar were available in the UK at this time but market research indicated that only one in three people had ever bought one. Many consumers found they were too brittle and difficult to eat and so Lyons Tetley's introduced both a chewy and crunchy type. Each of the four bars launched had a different combination of nuts and fruit added to the basic oats, rice and cane sugar base. The two chewy bars were Apricot & Choc Chip and Apple & Hazelnut and the crunchy types; Hazelnut & Raisin and Peanut and Almond. Cluster was launched in the north of England under the banner of Appleford's, a health food company which joined Lyons Tetley from Vine Products, part of the Allied-Lyons wines, spirits and soft drinks division. In charge of the product was Chris Croucher, National Account Manager, Confectionery. 'Clusters' were made in the Wrexham factory and by the spring of 1986 the demand for Cluster Bars had so increased that the Wrexham factory had to upgrade its packing facilities from a hand operation to one controlled by machine. The installation of the new line coincided with the launch of a new variety Cluster Bar; Chewy Milk Chocolate Chip and Raisin. The production process for Cluster Bars was similar for all varieties. The mix was cooked in a machine known as an evaporator, it was next rolled out into a continuous bar about three feet wide and was then transported by a conveyor belt through a cooling tunnel at the start of which chocolate chips were sprinkled on (if that was required). Once clear of the tunnel the slab was guillotined into 30g bars and each bar passed through a metal detector. The bars then went through the first wrap machine which sealed them in their distinctive wrappers. Each wrapper was stamped with the date and exact time - to the minute - it was produced. The bars then passed through a check-weigher before going to either multipack or carton machines. The Wrexham factory operated 24 hours a day with three, eight-hour shifts of nineteen staff. A total of eighty people in the factory, mainly on production.

Chocolate Biscuits

In the autumn of 1988 Lyons Tetley offered chocolate biscuits as a promotion for Tetley Teabags. The take-up was enormous and even after the promotion ended members of the public continued to write in asking where they could be obtained. As a result Lyons Tetley and Symbol Biscuits, who made the biscuits at their Blackpool factory, got together to market them jointly under the Tetley Tea Folk brand. Symbol continued to make and pack the biscuits and distributed them to all sectors of the grocery trade. Made of rolled oats and covered in milk chocolate the Tetley Tea Folk biscuits were packed in fives and sold for 41p. They had the benefit of being sold under a strong brand name.

The Lyons Tetley grocery business was sold to Weetabix in 1990.

See Also: Subsidiary Companies (DCA, Margetts Preserves Ltd, Sol Café, Sol Tenco, Symbol Biscuits Ltd) and Products Index (Group 4 & 5).



© Peter Bird 2002

The two girls at weigh machine are: Susan Phipps (left) and trainer June Browne taking random weight checks of Ready Brek packets..

The two chaps are: Paul Thomas (left) and Michael Ellison at the packet and liner-forming section of the production line.