Beanz count among the UK’s favourite things and everyone has their own ideas about how to eat them: straight from the can, poured piping hot over toast or stuffed into a baked potato. Baked Beanz have a long history and we have Henry J. Heinz to thank for our contemporary take on this venerable food.
In 1886 the Heinz family embarked on an European tour, with Henry taking a stack of his baked beans. The stay included a 2-week stopover in London, where Henry famously visited Fortnum & Mason. It was typical of Henry to go straight to the most esteemed food outlet in London to promote his wares. However, this dogged self-belief paid off and the result was the decision by the Head of Purchasing to take all of the baked beans.
Thus began Britain’s love affair with Heinz. Encouraged by this initial success, Henry decided to establish a London base for the company.
In the Can
Canned baked beans were first produced by the Heinz company in Pittsburgh, USA in 1895. Baked beans found their way on to Britain tables 9 years later when Heinz began exporting their products. At first, baked beans were seen as a luxury item due to their price and limited availability, but when the first can of British-made baked beans came off the production line at the Harlesden factory in 1928, Heinz was able to slash the price and make them an everyday option.