Ohhh Nooooooo!!!!

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Some things are icons and should not be fucked with. HP Sauce is one of these and it seems that Heinz (their current owners) are doing just that. From the Washington Post:
Britain's HP sauce leaves bad taste
More than 100 years of British tradition came to an end yesterday as the final bottle of HP brown sauce -- a popular alternative to ketchup -- rolled off a production line at a factory in central England.

HP's U.S. owner, H.J. Heinz, stuck by plans to switch production of the sauce to the Netherlands to save money, despite a high-profile campaign to keep it in Britain that saw protests outside the U.S. Embassy and lawmakers brandishing bottles of the condiment in the House of Commons.

A staple that is smothered over everything from fish and chips to the traditional English fry-up breakfast of sausages, bacon, baked beans and eggs, its advertising slogan proudly proclaims it is "The Official Sauce of Great Britain."

Its distinctive tall bottle carries a picture of the Houses of Parliament on a blue and red label -- an image that some protesters say is no longer appropriate.

The decision to close the Aston, Birmingham, plant in favor of a new factory in Elst, in the Netherlands, will also cost 120 jobs.

"The plant has been a landmark for 108 years. You could always smell it from miles away," said Joe Clarke, a spokesman for the Transport and General Workers' Union.

"The implications for the workers are terrible," Mr. Clarke added. "Most of them were looking to spend the rest of their working lives at HP."

The sauce, a tangy mix of malt vinegar, dates, sugar, apples, tomato and spices, was invented by a Nottingham grocer and the recipe was sold to the Midland Vinegar Co. in the late 1800s.

In the 1960s, it became known as "Wilson's Gravy" after the wife of Prime Minister Harold Wilson let slip that his one weakness was that "he will drown everything in HP."

There was immediate and strong opposition when Heinz announced its plan last August.

Local businesses started a "save our sauce campaign" and lawmakers tried to get the condiment banned from food outlets in the House of Commons, with some waving bottles around during a session of the prime minister's question time.
And Heinz, just like any multinational clueless dinosaur:
The HP sauce currently holds 71 percent of the $82 million brown sauce market and Heinz is starting a $3.1 million marketing campaign this month to keep consumers.

The campaign will include nationwide TV spots, door drops of samples and coupons as the company invests around $8 million into the iconic brand.

But the advertising campaign has only increased the anger of opponents to the factory move.

"It is ironic that they couldn't afford to invest to keep the plant open," said John Jordan, a Transport and General Workers' Union official for the local area. "Now they are pouring millions into promoting the product because of damage to the brand."
They could have built awesome cred by re-investing in the plant and keeping it open -- that plant has 71% of the market that also includes A-1 and other steak sauces. If it is available, I prefer it to A-1. Part of what makes a brand a brand is the corporate history and culture -- Heinz is pissing on this.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on March 16, 2007 9:41 PM.

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