Peek Freans

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Pecan Passion cookies by Peek Freans
Advertisement by Thomas Benjamin Kennington (1891)
Old tin box by Peek, Frean & Co
Former Peek Freans biscuit factory in Ashfield, New South Wales (2009)

Peek Frean is a brand of biscuits and related confectionery. The brand is owned in the UK by United Biscuits, although the Peek Frean name is no longer used in the UK. In the US and Canada the brand is owned by Mondelēz International, while in Pakistan, the brand is owned by English Biscuit Manufacturers.

History[edit]

Peek, Frean and Co was established in 1857 in Bermondsey, London by James Peek and George Hender Frean. In 1861, the company started exporting biscuits to Australia and later to other overseas destinations. They moved to a larger plant in Bermondsey in 1866 where they continued baking until the brand was discontinued in 1989.[1][2]

In 1861, they introduced the Garibaldi biscuit. In 1910, the company introduced their first cream sandwich biscuit, now known as a Bourbon biscuit.

In 1906, the Peek Frean and Co factory in Bermondsey was the subject of one of the earliest documentary films shot by Cricks and Sharp.[3]

In 1921, Peek Frean entered into an amalgamation agreement with rival biscuit firm Huntley and Palmers, resulting in the creation of a holding company, Associated Biscuit Manufacturers Ltd. However, both biscuit firms retained their own brands and premises.

In 1924 they established their first factory outside the UK, in Dum Dum, India. 1949 saw the establishment of their first bakery in Canada. The bakery, located on Bermondsey Road in East York, Ontario, is still in production.

In Pakistan, Peek Freans products are manufactured and marketed by English Biscuit Manufacturers (EBM). EBM was officially established as a joint venture of Peek Freans' operations in the country since 1965.[4]

During the course of its life, the firm's brand name changed from Peek, Frean and Co to Peek Frean (in the early twentieth century) and then to Peek Freans (by the 1970s, the name having been used in the possessive case on products for many years).

In late 2011 a tinned Christmas pudding was discovered at the back of a kitchen cupboard in Poole Dorset and was donated to the museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. It was a 'Peek, Frean & Co's Teetotal Plum Pudding - London, High Class Ingredients Only' from 1900's and was one of 1000 sent to the troops during the Boer war. It was sent by Agnes 'Aggie' Weston - superintendent of the Royal Naval Temperance Society hence it being teetotal.

See also[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

In the British TV comedy The Young Ones, Series 2, Episode 1, "Bambi" (1984), Alexei Sayle announces "It's quite interesting, you know, the number of biscuits that are named after revolutionaries. You've got your Garibaldi, of course, you've got your Bourbons, then of course you've got your Peek Frean's Trotsky Assortment."

References[edit]

External links[edit]