The Guinness Book of Records has named Lyle's Golden Syrup the oldest brand in Britain. Its green packaging has been decorated with the image of a golden lion and bees since 1885. The design of the classic tins has changed little in 120 years and the tins still carry the biblical quotation "out of the strong came forth sweetness".

Dr Kate Thomas, an expert on Victorian Literature and Culture at Bryn Mawr College, Philadelphia, said: "When you slip a spoon into Lyle's Golden Syrup you are dipping into the nineteenth century.

"The Lyle's Golden Syrup tin is itself a piece of history. Its image of the lion and the bees and the biblical quotation testify to a peculiarly Victorian mix of moralism, industrial drive and budding concern for social welfare," she continued.

The publisher of the Guinness Book of Records said that Lyle's will officially enter the famous book next year.

More than a million tins of the syrup brand are produced each year. It is owned by sugar company Tate & Lyle and sold throughout the world in a range of different formats and flavours. The range includes the classic tins, easy-pour bottles, maple flavoured syrup, Lyle's Black Treacle, flavoured topping Lyle's Squeezy Syrups and jars of spreadable Lyle's Golden Spread.

The packaging and brand name are highly recognisable, with 86% of Britons instantly recognising it.  

Alison Ashman, senior brand manager for Lyle's Golden Syrup, said: "Lyle's Golden Syrup has gained iconic status over the years, not only because it tastes great but because we've kept the original packaging. While we've extended our product range and added other formats, we know that the green and gold tin will always have a place on Britain's kitchen shelves."