A.1. Sauce

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A.1. Sauce
A1 Steak Sauce.png
TypeSteak sauce
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Created byHenderson William Brand
Invented1831 (1831)

A.1. Sauce (formerly A.1. Steak Sauce) is a brand of steak sauce Kraft Foods produces. Sold from 1831 as a condiment for meat or game dishes in the United Kingdom, the makers later introduced the product to North America, where it was marketed as a steak sauce. In May 2014, Kraft Foods announced it was dropping the word "steak" from the A.1. name reverting to A.1 Sauce, to "reflect modern dining habits".[1] Although the sauce is widely available in the U.S. and Canada, in the UK it is currently sold only by Tesco, Costco and Ocado.[2]

History and ownership[edit]

A.1. Sauce on a store shelf

In 1824 Henderson William Brand, a chef to King George IV of the United Kingdom, created the original sauce on which A.1. is based.[3] A popular myth has it that the king declared it "A.1." and the name was born.[4] 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.[5] A.1. was officially registered as a trademark in the U.S. in 1895, and imported and distributed in the United States by G.F. Heublein & Brothers in 1906. Beginning in the early 1960s, it was marketed in the U.S. as "A.1 Steak Sauce".[6] In 1931, A.1. was introduced to Canada.

R. J. Reynolds, which merged with Nabisco in 1985 to form RJR Nabisco, acquired Heublein in 1982. In 1999, Kraft Foods acquired Nabisco, including the A.1. brand in North America.

In the 1980s, two new flavors of A.1. were introduced, representing the first expansion of the trademark. These varieties were soon discontinued. In 2000, an A.1. line of marinades was launched.

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)".[7]


A.1. Sauce includes tomato purée, raisin paste, distilled vinegar, corn syrup, salt, crushed orange purée, dried garlic and onions, spice, celery seed, caramel color, and xanthan gum.[8]

Legal action[edit]

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 for Connecticut found in favor of Nabisco.[9]


A.1. Sauce advertising signs, 1916

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 Meat Loaf sing." (2009)
  • "A.1.—For Almost Everything. Almost." (2014)
  • "A.1.—Makes beef sing." (current)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "After 50 Years, A.1. Steak Sauce Ends Exclusive Relationship With Beef, Drops "Steak" From Name And Friends Other Foods". Yahoo!. 15 May 2014. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  2. ^ "A1 Steak Sauce". Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  3. ^ Morris, Evan (2004). From Altoids to Zima: the surprising stories behind 125 brand names. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-5797-8.
  4. ^ Raichlen, Steven (2000). Barbecue bible: sauces, rubs, and marinades, bastes, butters & glazes. Workman Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7611-1979-1.
  5. ^ "Brand and Co".
  6. ^ "After 50 Years, A.1. Steak Sauce Ends Exclusive Relationship With Beef, Drops "Steak" From Name And Friends Other Foods". MarketWatch. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  7. ^ A.1. Makes Meat Loaf Sing on YouTube
  8. ^ "What's Inside: A.1. Steak Sauce - WIRED". WIRED.
  9. ^ "Reminiscing A1". Retrieved 17 September 2008.

External links[edit]