Today sees the last bottle of HP Sauce produced at the 100 year-old factory in Birmingham before Heinz switches operations to the Netherlands.

The story is fairly symbolic of modern business.

Production is switching from the historic plant at Aston because it will be cheaper for Heinz to manufacture and distribute HP sauce from Holland.

As a result, 125 people lose their jobs, Heinz makes the necessary savings it requires and Birmingham loses a landmark familiar to anyone travelling into the city along the Expressway from Spaghetti Junction.

Unions and politicians, backed by a sizeable section of the local population, put up a strong fight to save the HP factory. But they were up against one of the largest food brands in the world and a “David and Goliath” style victory was never realistic.

There is not much room for sentiment in modern business.


4 responses »

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    What in the world is HP sauce? Is it similar to America’s A-1 (which comes in similar bottles?” What does HP go on, and what does it taste like?

  2. Paul Groves says:

    Hi Ed,
    Where does one begin when trying to describe HP sauce….
    It is a very British sauce in many respects, which makes the decision to move production to Holland even more galling.
    This site might be of some use –


  3. […] Tip of the old scrub brush to Groves Media. Photo from BBC. […]

  4. […] follows the latest trend Earlier this month it was the historic HP Sauce factory in Birmingham, now it is the slightly less iconic but nonetheless vitally important […]

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