Grey Poupon

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Grey Poupon
Grey Poupon mustard jar
Product type Mustard
Owner Kraft Heinz
Country Dijon, France
Introduced 1866
Markets Worldwide
Previous owners Grey Poupon
Heublein Inc.
RJR Nabisco
Kraft Foods

Grey Poupon is a brand of whole-grain mustard and Dijon mustard which originated in Dijon, France.[1]

The U.S. rights to the brand were acquired by the Heublein Company, later passing on to Kraft Foods. Grey Poupon became popular in the United States in the late 1970s and 1980s as American tastes broadened from conventional American yellow mustards. French food critics protested the American appropriation of their mustard citing cultural identity, but ultimately, Kraft Foods prevailed in arbitration proceedings governed by a United Nations Council.

Like other Dijon mustards, Grey Poupon contains a small amount of white wine. The American version is made with brown mustard seed grown in Canada.[2]


Maurice Grey was winning medals for his Dijon mustard machine in 1855. In 1860, he was awarded a Royal Appointment. He had developed a machine that dramatically increased the speed of production, but he needed financing, which he obtained in 1866 from Auguste Poupon, another Dijon mustard manufacturer. The Grey–Poupon partnership produced their first mustard around 1866 in Dijon, France.[3]

In 1946, the Heublein Company bought the American rights from the original company.

In 1970, the directors of Grey Poupon and of another Dijon mustard firm, André Ricard, having earlier bought the popular Maille-label, formed a conglomerate called S.E.G.M.A. Maille. Soon afterwards, the new company decided to phase out the Grey Poupon label in France.

In America, R. J. Reynolds acquired Heublein in 1982 and merged it with Nabisco in 1985 to form RJR Nabisco. In 1999, Kraft Foods acquired Nabisco, including the Grey Poupon brand.

Grey Poupon Dijon and wholegrain mustard are still produced in France for the European and Canadian markets.[4] Production of Grey Poupon for the American market will move to Holland, Michigan from Pennsylvania, following Kraft Heinz's expansion of its 120-year-old Holland production facility.[5]



Heublein increased the visibility and name recognition of their mustard brand with a 1980s commercial pointing out that "one can enjoy the finer things of life with white wine mustard without paying high prices", in which a Rolls-Royce pulls up alongside another Rolls-Royce, and a passenger in one asks "Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?" The other responds, "But of course!" The closing shot is of the Grey Poupon jar being passed between the vehicles. In one variation, the characters are on the Orient Express.[6]

The commercial spawned a number of variations, often comedic; a later version features Ian Richardson asking Paul Eddington if he has any Grey Poupon, to which Eddington replies, "But of course", then motions for his driver to speed away.[7][8] Another commercial included the introduction of a plastic squeeze jar, wherein the jar makes embarrassing noises while extracting the mustard, much to the mortification of the driver.[9]

In 2013, Grey Poupon created a new advertisement, playing upon the 1980s commercial, displaying a duel between the driver who took the Grey Poupon Jar (played by British actor Frazer Douglas) being chased down by the mustard's original owner (played by Roy). The spot was nominated for an Emmy for best commercial.[10]

Brand extensions[edit]

In 2007, Grey Poupon/Kraft company introduced three new specialty mustards: a coarse-ground mustard with whole mustard seeds, a spicy brown mustard with diced yellow onions, and a honey mustard with clover honey and spices.

In popular culture[edit]

The "Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?" commercials have been parodied in many films and TV shows, including Wayne's World (1992), Married... with Children's "Old Insurance Dodge", WWE RAW and Family Guy's "Blue Harvest" (September 23, 2007). The question was asked by Michael J. Fox's character, while preparing to eat a frog dog in the film, The Hard Way (1991).

The Grey Poupon name has appeared frequently in hip-hop and rap lyrics since 1992, when Das EFX mentioned the brand on their song "East Coast". Artists such as Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar,[11] and T-Pain reference Grey Poupon on their songs because the brand is easy to rhyme and it illustrates the status of style, luxury, and class.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bare Barging in Burgundy". 
  2. ^ Remnick, David (2009). Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink. Modern Library Inc. p. 365. ISBN 978-0812976410. 
  3. ^ Lee, Laura. The Name's Familiar II. ISBN 9781455609178. 
  4. ^ "Grey Poupon". My Supermarket. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Pardon me: Grey Poupon's move to Mich. will add jobs". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  6. ^ Grey Poupon on the Train. YouTube. 5 October 2007. 
  7. ^ Grey Poupon "Son Of Rolls" 30 Sec Commercial. YouTube. 9 February 2007. 
  8. ^ Mail, Sharon (2009). We Could Possibly Comment: Ian Richardson Remembered. Leicester: Troubadour Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84876-184-1. 
  9. ^ Grey Poupon Squeeze. YouTube. 5 October 2007. 
  10. ^ "Ads Up For Emmy For Best Commercial - Business Insider". Business Insider. 18 July 2013. 
  11. ^ KendrickLamarVEVO (2017-03-30), Kendrick Lamar - HUMBLE., retrieved 2017-03-31 
  12. ^ Caswell, Estelle; Frostenson, Sarah (12 October 2016). "How Grey Poupon became hip-hop's favorite condiment". Vox Media. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 

External links[edit]