Lyons Biscuits is a name synonymous with British teatime treats. For over 150 years, the company has been baking delicious and iconic biscuits that have become a staple in households across the UK and beyond.
For many people, Lyons Biscuits are more than just a snack; they are a taste of home. They evoke memories of childhood tea parties, family gatherings, and cosy evenings by the fire. From the humble Rich Tea to the indulgent Jam Tea Cake, Lyons offer a comforting taste of tradition and nostalgia that never goes out of style.
The story of Lyons Biscuits in the 20th century is a complex one, involving acquisitions, mergers, and brand switches. Buckle up as we navigate this intricate timeline!
The story of Lyons begins in 1851 with Joseph Lyons, a grocer and tea merchant from London. He began baking cakes and pastries in the back of his shop. His creations including Bakewell Tart, Battenberg and Trifle Sponge Fingers were an instant success, and soon Lyons was opening bakeries and tea shops across the city.
Lyons first ventured into biscuit production In 1938. The company bought the Bee Bee Biscuit Company, a Blackpool-based biscuit maker.
Lyons Biscuits coon became a national brand. The company's innovative marketing campaigns, featuring catchy slogans and playful mascots, helped to cement its place in British popular culture. Lyons even sponsored the iconic Blackpool Tower, further solidifying its association with fun and family treats.
1944: The name was changed to Symbol Biscuits Ltd and sold biscuits under the Symbol and Lyons brand names.
1956: The company introduced Maryland Cookies.
1990: Lyons and Symbol becomes Lyons Biscuits Ltd.
1994: Lyons Biscuits, a beloved British brand since the 19th century, is acquired by Hillsdown Holdings, a food and beverage conglomerate.
1999: Hillsdown Holdings itself gets snapped up by Hicks Muse Tate & Furst (HMTF), a private equity firm.
2000: HMTF acquires Burton's Foods, another major British biscuit maker. Then, in a stroke of genius (or perhaps brand confusion), merges the newly acquired Burton's Foods with Horizon Biscuit Company. This combined entity becomes the new home for Lyons Biscuits.
2021: Burton’s is bought by the Ferroro Group.
2024: Burton's is the number two biscuit maker in the UK.
The Lyons branding remains on all of their biscuit products apart from Maryland Cookies.
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The enduring popularity of Lyons Biscuits lies in their simple yet satisfying recipes. Here is a list of the company's most beloved classics include:
The Viscount branding was given a makeover in 2005 to give it a more upmarket appearance.
In addition to its classic biscuits, Lyons also produces a wide range of other baked goods, including cookies, cakes, and pastries. The company's Lyons Maid brand is particularly well-known for its ice creams and lollies, and is often remembered for its 1960s and 70s classics Fab, Orange Maid and Haunted House.
Lyons Biscuits remains a beloved British brand, and the company continues to produce its classic, ever-popular products. With its commitment to quality, tradition, and delicious taste, Lyons Biscuits is sure to be enjoyed by generations to come.
So, there you have it! The intricate journey of Lyons Biscuits from a standalone brand to a part of a larger biscuit empire, with a few unexpected twists and turns along the way. Remember, the next time you dunk a Rich Tea into your cuppa, you're not just enjoying a delicious biscuit, you're savouring a piece of British corporate history!
Yes, there is a salted caramel version of Toffypops. Never seen these before? Well, these are sold only in Norway and are not available in the United Kingdom, unfortunately.
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