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Twinings Of London
Twinings Tea logo.png
Twinings 20130414 068.jpg
Twinings' shop on the Strand in central London was established as a tea room in 1706
Owner Associated British Foods
Country United Kingdom
Introduced 1706; 311 years ago (1706)
Markets Tea

Twinings /ˈtwnɪŋz/ is an English marketer of tea, based in Andover, Hampshire. The brand is owned by Associated British Foods. It holds the world's oldest continually-used company logo, and is London's longest-standing ratepayer, having occupied the same premises on the Strand since 1706.[1]


The founder of Twinings was Thomas Twining from Painswick, Gloucestershire in England. He opened Britain's first known tea room at No. 216 Strand, London, in 1706; it still operates today.[2] The firm's logo, created in 1787, is the world's oldest in continuous use.[3] [needs update?]

Holder of a royal warrant, Twinings has been owned by Associated British Foods since 1964.[4] It sells a variety of regional and flavoured teas such as the smoked Lapsang Souchong, the oil scented black tea Lady Grey, and the partially oxidised Indian tea Darjeeling, as well as infusions, coffee, and hot chocolate. The company is associated with Earl Grey tea, a tea infused with bergamot, though it is unclear when this association began, and how important the company's involvement with the tea has been; Jacksons of Piccadilly, originally a rival of Twinings, but bought up by Twinings in the 1990s, also have associations with the blend.[5]

In 2005, Twinings introduced its first generic, non-speciality tea, under the brand "Everyday Tea".[citation needed] In 2006, it started producing a tinned chocolate drink. In 2007, it also launched a selection of tinned coffees onto the market.[citation needed]

Twinings owns Nambarrie, a tea company based in Belfast and in trade for over 140 years. In April 2008, Twinings announced their decision to close the Nambarrie plant.[6] Twinings said it needed to consolidate its UK manufacturing operations in the face of increasing global competition, and moved some production to China and Poland in late 2011; however, the vast majority of UK consumed tea is still produced in their factory in Andover, Hampshire.[citation needed]

The company launched a television advertisement in late 2011 which featured an animation of a woman struggling to row a boat in a storm, with the background song "Wherever You Will Go" by Londoner Charlene Soraia. The song reached No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart. Twinings said the advert aimed to metaphorically explain "the hectic lives that women today lead, and how taking just 10 minutes out each day to reconnect with yourself can have such an impact on the rest of your day."[7]


The company is a founding member of the Ethical Tea Partnership,[8] a not-for-profit membership organisation of tea-packing companies that works to monitor and improve ethical conditions on tea estates in all major tea growing regions. However, the organisation has been criticised for its "focus on the large-scale producer".[9] Twinings has an Ethical Code of Conduct[10] and works with all its packaging and raw material suppliers to ensure decent working conditions in the supply chain.[11]

Despite this, Twinings is linked to a number of ethical and environmental issues. The criticism includes the worst ECRA rating for environmental reporting and palm oil use. As of 2017, Ethical Consumer magazine ranked Twinings in joint-last position with a score of 3.5 out of 20.[9]

The company also aims to improve conditions in tea communities. In 2011, Twinings made a three-year financial commitment to support a UNICEF initiative aimed at addressing the inter-generational cycle of under-nutrition among girls and young women of the tea community.[12] The initiative is being implemented in 15 gardens in Dibrugarh, Assam, in partnership with the Assam Branch of the India Tea Association (ABITA).[13] The project aims to significantly reduce the prevalence of anaemia in adolescent girls and women by addressing the underlying causes of their poor nutrition,[14] complemented by improved life skills education. The initiative aims to directly improve the nutrition and life skills of over 8,000 adolescent girls in the region.[12]

Notable members of the Twining family[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Winn, Christopher (2007). I Never Knew That About London. Ebury Press. ISBN 978-0-09-191857-6. 
  2. ^ Phillips-Evans, James (2012) The Longcrofts: 500 Years of a British Family, Amazon, pp. 244–245
  3. ^ Standage, Tom (2005). A history of the world in six glasses. New York: Walker. p. 202. 
  4. ^ "MARESI Austria GmbH Österreich website". 
  5. ^ Glyn Hughes. "The Foods of England – Earl Grey Tea". Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "Tea Time Over For Nambarrie". Northern Ireland, United Kingdom: Northern Ireland News. 11 April 2008. Retrieved 17 January 2009. One of Northern Ireland's top teas – and a favourite in Scotland too – is no longer to be packed in central Belfast. 
  7. ^ "Twinings Gets You Back To You: All About Our Advertising". Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Ethical Tea Partnership – Working for a Responsible Tea Industry". United Kingdom. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  9. ^ a b "Ethical shopping guide to Tea". Ethical Consumer. December 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2017. 
  10. ^ "Twinings Ovaltine Code of Conduct" (PDF). 27 March 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 April 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "Associated British Foods: Corporate responsibility". 
  12. ^ a b Twinings – Corporate Partners – Organisations – UNICEF
  13. ^ Twinings Home of Tea – Improving Health and Nutrition with UNICEF in Assam
  14. ^ Pro, Barmac (18 August 2012). "Twinings and UNICEF and Assam Tea Helping Improve Lives". Tea4Two. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. 

External links[edit]