12 British Foodie Facts + Horlicks Giveaway

Last updated on November 19th, 2023 at 12:24 am

The Surprising History of your Kitchen Cupboard!

Brits have a rich food heritage which, although not be particularly revered on the global stage, includes a wealth of family favorites that have stood the test of time. Open up the kitchen cupboard of the average UK family and there will brands in there that have been knocking about for over century– hopefully not literally! Some of the foods and brands that we know and love have had quite the journey, to get to our shelves all these years later.

Here are 12 facts about British food history you might not have known:

1.     In the 1930s Marmite was used to treat anaemia in mill workers in Bombay

2.     The oldest British food brand is Lyle’s Golden Syrup

3.     Before refrigerators were common, to keep their meat    fresh people stored their meat in a ‘meat safe’

4.     At the start of the 20th century Polar explorers used to take Horlicks with them for energy. Mountaineer Richard Byrd even named the Horlicks Mountains after the drink!    

5.     A thrifty Victorian era dish was flour soup! The unappealing dish was made with Butter, flour, hot water, and salt.

6.    From the mid-nineteenth century babies in the UK suffering from Colic were treated with a tonic known as ‘Gripe water’. Invented by William Woodward, an English pharmacist in 1851 the original mixture was formulated with 3.6 per cent alcohol!

7.     Even though home freezers were still yet to become common, after being launched in 1955 Birds Eye Fish Fingers came to account for 10 per cent of all fish consumption within a decade.

8.     At the turn of the 20th Century, breakfast was revolutionised by American John Harvey Kellogg. He accidentally left some boiled maize out and it went stale. He passed it through some rollers and baked it, creating the world’s first cornflake.

9.     In 1914 Britain was the largest importer of tinned food.

10.   The first ‘ready-meal’ to really take off in the UK was the chicken kiev in 1979.

11.   Bird’s instant custard powder Bird’s Custard was created by Alfred Bird because his wife was allergic to eggs.

12.   Tea was established in Britain back in the 1660s when Catherine of Braganza, the queen of Charles II popularised the drink amongst the British aristocracy.

To celebrate their surprising history Horlicks have created an animation looking back at the last 140 or so years of British love for a hot malty drink.  You can watch it here or find it on the Horlicks Facebook page.


I have great news too, to celebrate this amazing hot malty drink I am here to host a celebration GIVEAWAY of Horlick goodies. WIN these Horlick products below and you can see what all the fuss is about. Enter below and good luck. 

Win Horlick malty drink goodie hamper giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

116 thoughts on “12 British Foodie Facts + Horlicks Giveaway”

  1. As a big Marmite and Horlicks lover this was definitely the post for me to read today! Love all these fab facts Jenny, it’s fascinating to read the history behind some of our best loved foods and amazing how often they were used medicinally originally! #ShareWithMe

  2. Interesting facts. I couldn’t imagine not keeping meat in the fridge and I’ve never tried marmite, but it other than as a food sounds quite odd! #sharewithme

  3. Wow! Interesting facts. That flour soup was a bit much for my taste. I couldn’t imagine anyone being able to enjoy a bowl of that. To each its own, I guess. Thanks for sharing, Jenny. and for hosting us on #sharewithme this week!

  4. ha, I had no idea marmite was that old – I used to work at Unilever who now do the marketing for marmite, I should have probably known more about the product haha #sharewithme

  5. Ooo lovely giveaway – I’ve entered a few times 😉 Fingers crossed! I think grype water was still going until recently! Maybe it didn’t have as much alcohol in it though – I hope! Very informational post, I didn’t know most of these facts. #ShareWithMe x

  6. I really enjoyed reading these facts, so interesting. It always amazes me that gripe water used to have alcohol in.
    Thanks for hosting #Sharewithme
    Becky xx

  7. Having worked in food for 13+ years, I love the history of brands. The UK has such a mix and lots of history, just a shame so many of the companies are now globally owned.

  8. Really interesting post, didnt know half of the facts….not sure i would want to try ‘floor soup’!!

  9. Interesting tips, I wouldn’t let my cupboard run out of either Marmite or Lyles Golden Syrup. Though I could live without the powdered custard…. Becky #sharewithme

  10. As a hectic mummy of 3 kiddies this would be great to win. Call me old but I plan to relax on my birthday on the 9th with a horlicks, whilst curled up in my pjs – hopefully with all 3 kids asleep!!!

  11. Fab giveaway, thanks 🙂 I love Horlicks and often drink it before bed – and I would love to store it in that lovely tin! Will have to get one of those.


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