Having read that Heinz first sold their products at Fortnum & Mason I thought it would be relevant to carry out some further research and find out a little bit about the history of the company. Below is the timeline taken from the Heinz website explaining a bit about where it started and what it has ended up like today.
The story of how Heinz came to be one of the world's best loved brands began over 140 years ago. Take a trip back with us, and find out how Henry J Heinz ensured his name would become associated with quality, variety and good taste by food lovers everywhere.
In the beginning
Two young American businessmen, Henry J Heinz and L Clarence Noble, launch Heinz & Noble. Their first product is Henry's 'pure and superior' grated horseradish, bottled in clear glass to show its purity. The horseradish is grown on a garden patch given to Henry by his parents.
The world's first taste of ketchup
Henry sets up business with two of his relations, launching F & J Heinz Company, with Henry as manager. In the US, they launch Heinz Tomato Ketchup followed by a launch in the UK in 1886.
'I think Mr Heinz, we will take the lot'
Henry sells his first products 'seven varieties of our finest and newest goods' to London's famous Fortnum & Mason food store.
An historic train journey
Riding the New York railway he saw a poster for a shoe company advertising its 21 styles of shoe. He is taken with the ad and totting up the number of products that his company produced, settles on 57 - although there were more, even then! On that journey Heinz 57 Varieties was born.
Cream of the crop
Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup was imported into the UK.
UK production starts
Heinz is still exporting Baked Beans, Spaghetti and Tomato Ketchup to the UK from America and Canada. When production expands to the UK, 10,000 tonnes are produced here in the first year.
You gotta talk the talk
Heinz salesmen are expected to be at least 6ft tall, impeccably dressed and particularly eloquent at promoting Heinz products. Their equipment including chrome vacuum flasks, pickle forks and olive spears weighs about 30lbs!
Hard times, good food
Howard Heinz, Henry's son, fights the big Depression by adding ready-to-serve soups and baby food to the Heinz range. Feeding families looking for value, taste and quality, they become top sellers
What, no ketchup?
Because of the war, ingredients are in short supply. Heinz Tomato Ketchup does not appear on shelves in the UK from 1939 until 1948. What on earth did they do without it? Eat more Heinz Salad Cream, that's what.
Beans for victory!
Because of its major contribution to wartime food production, our Harlesden factory is bombed at least twice. Production carries on regardless as Heinz is so vital to maintaining food resources.
A right Royal result
The Royal Warrant is granted, and in 1954 granted again as Purveyors of Heinz Products to HM Queen Elizabeth II.
Heinz goes on air for the first time
'Heinz 57' varieties are advertised on the new ITV channel. Colour posters were also produced. The jingle went: 'Heinz 57, Heinz 57. You've a family to feed. Heinz have everything you need. Ready when you are, yes indeed. That's Heinz 57!
Wigan goes bean bonkers
Heinz opens a Beans factory in Wigan on 21 May 1959. It uses 1,000 tonnes of dry beans every week. That's a lot of beans.
The biggest promotion in the UK ever!
Heinz give-away 57 Mini-Minors in a soup competition. From then on Heinz can't stop; we give away 57 caravans, 57 holidays and much, much more.
The most famous slogan of them all is born
Remember it? A million housewives everyday pick up a tin of beans and say: 'Beanz Meanz Heinz.'
Telegram from the Queen?
Heinz commemorates 100 years of providing British families with quality convenience foods.
Ketchup gets the easy, squeezy treatment
The plastic Heinz Tomato Ketchup bottle is launched. Now it is easier than ever to enjoy the world's favourite tomato ketchup with your favourite dishes.
The bean goes east
Heinz expands distribution to Russia and China. In total, we now export Heinz Beanz to 60 countries.
Twelve of the best
Heinz Beanz is selected as one of twelve brands that people think best represent the final ten years of the Millennium.
Into the top four
We're now the world's fourth biggest food and drink brand behind Coke, McDonald's and Nescafé.
Time to go organic
Heinz launches organic ranges for our main brands: Organic Tomato Ketchup and Organic Heinz Beanz. Soon after, we introduce Organic Cream of Tomato Soup.
Everything turned upside down
Heinz Tomato Ketchup is turned on its head and the Heinz Top Down Tomato Ketchup bottle is born. For the traditionalists, the distinctive glass bottles remain on sale too.
Less salt for beans lovers
Heinz introduces Reduced Sugar and Salt Baked Beanz while continuing to drive down added salt in standard beans which first started in 1986.
Mean Beanz for a new millennium
For the first time in 103 years, Heinz launches a new Heinz Beanz range: Mean Beanz, that come in world varieties Mexican, Sweet Chilli and Smokey BBQ.
HP Sauce joins the Heinz family
HP™ Sauces and Lea & Perrins™ Worcestershire Sauce joins a roster of 10 category-leading consumer brands at Heinz including Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Heinz Beanz and Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup.
Busy lives have never bean so easy
Heinz launches a new format to their iconic Heinz Beanz and Spaghetti Hoops brands with Snap Pots, a personalised portion that can be popped into the microwave without the need to hover by the hob, worry about waste or adding to the pile of unwashed pots and pans.
Global Sustainability goals launched
In May, Bill Johnson, our Chairman, President and CEO, unveiled nine global sustainability goals including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2015.
Still coming up with inspiring food ideas
IT HAS TO BE HEINZ marketing campaign was launched in October across TV, radio, in-store, digital and PR.
On 21 May 2009 Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh visited the Heinz Beanz factory in Kitt Green near Wigan to mark the 50th Anniversary of the official opening of the factory. The Queen also opened a new packing operation.