Blog: Bird's up for grabs
Catherine Sleep | 16 November 2004
Kraft Foods is looking to offload Bird’s Custard. I bet many of our non-UK readers have never even heard of the brand, and I feel it’s very important that you understand its significance over here. Personally I can’t stand custard, but I am in a very small minority in this, and to many British consumers Bird’s IS custard and none other will do!
A number of players could be keen to pick up such a strong brand, albeit one that has no pretensions to international success. It would be a tasty little acquisition for the right purchasers; Associated British Foods and Premier Foods have been mooted as potential buyers. That said, would-be purchasers might well attempt to break Bird’s away from the other brands Kraft has put on the auction block, which include the rather less iconic drippy dessert product Angel Delight.
Perhaps the true surprise in this news is not that the brand is up for sale, but that it ever went out of UK hands in the first place. It was invented in the 1830s by Alfred Bird, a Birmingham pharmacist. Bird’s wife was allergic to eggs, so he invented an egg-free custard for her… and the rest, as they say, is history. Little known fact for you: Alfred Bird is reputed also to have invented baking powder and thereby revolutionised home baking. So, an all-round good bloke.
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