A1 Steak Sauce
A.1. is a steak sauce in the United States, marketed as a condiment for use with meat or game dishes. It was developed, produced, and marketed in the United Kingdom as a brand in 1831 and was later introduced to the United States by G.F. Heublein & Bros., and was officially registered as a trademark in the U.S. in 1895. Widely available in the U.S. and Canada, the sauce today is only available from Tesco and Ocado in the UK, its country of origin.
History and ownership
The original sauce upon which A.1. is based was created in 1824 by Henderson William Brand, a chef to King George IV of the United Kingdom. A popular myth has it that the king declared it "A.1." and the name was born. It went into commercial production under the Brand & Co. label in 1831, marketed as a condiment for 'fish, meat and fowl', and continued production under this label after bankruptcy forced ownership of Brand & Co. to be transferred to W.H. Withall in 1850. It was renamed A.1. in 1873, after a trademark dispute between creator Henderson William Brand and Dence & Mason, who had since purchased Brand & Co. from Withall. It continued to be produced by Brand & Co. until the late 1950s at the firm's factory in Vauxhall, London. It was introduced to the United States in 1895 under the ownership of G.F. Heublein & Brothers and marketed as "A.1 steak sauce". In 1931, A.1. was introduced to Canada.
In 2000, the A.1. line of marinades was launched, representing the first expansion of the trademark.
Rock musician and singer Meat Loaf has appeared in a TV commercial for the product, to promote its new slogan: "A.1. - Makes beef sing." In the commercial, the slogan is "Makes Meat Loaf sing," and he sings a very short excerpt from his hit song "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)".
A.1. was the subject of a trademark dispute between then-owners RJR Nabisco and "Arnie’s Deli", which was producing its own recipe condiment under the name "A2 Sauce". In 1991, the United States District Court of Connecticut found in favor of Nabisco.
Some slogans for A.1. include:
- "Don't cover it. Discover it, with A.1." (1980s)
- "Great Steak! Great fun! A.1.!" (1981)
- "A.1. makes hamburgers taste like steakburgers." (early 1980s)
- "A.1. - How Steak is Done." (1990s)
- "A.1. - Yeah, it's that important." (early-mid-2000s)
- "A.1. - Makes beef sing." (current)
- "A.1. - Makes Meat Loaf sing." (2009)
- "A.1. - For Almost Everything. Almost." (2014)
- "A1 Steak Sauce". Retrieved 20 February 2014.
- Morris, Evan (2004). From Altoids to Zima: the surprising stories behind 125 brand names. Simon and Schuster, ISBN 978-0-7432-5797-8
- Raichlen, Steven (2000). Barbecue bible: sauces, rubs, and marinades, bastes, butters & glazes. Workman Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7611-1979-1
- A.1. Makes Meat Loaf Sing on YouTube
- "Reminiscing A1". Retrieved 2008-09-17.