A.1. Sauce
Product typeBrown sauce
OwnerIn North America Kraft Heinz
Introduced1831; 193 years ago (1831)

A.1. Sauce (formerly A.1. Steak Sauce and sometimes stylized as A1 Sauce in certain markets) is a brand of brown sauce produced by Brand & co, a subsidiary of Premier Foods in the United Kingdom (as "Brand's A.1. Sauce") and in North America by Kraft Heinz. Sold from 1831 as a condiment for "fish, meat, fowl and game" dishes in the United Kingdom, the makers introduced the product to Canada, and later to the U.S. where it was later marketed as a steak sauce. A.1. sauce is still produced in England and exported to Asia.[1][2] In May 2014, Kraft Foods in North America announced it was dropping the word "steak" from the A.1. name, reverting to A.1. Sauce, to "reflect modern dining habits".[3]

History and ownership

American A.1. Sauce advertisement from 1906

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.[4] A popular myth has it that the king declared it "A.1." and thus, the name was born.[5] The term "A.1." originated as a ship insurance term in the UK to describe a "first rate" ship by Lloyd's of London. 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 1970s at the firm's factory in Vauxhall, London[6] until it fell out of favor within the UK domestic market.

A.1. was officially registered as a trademark in the US 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 US as "A.1. Steak Sauce".[7]

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 licence for the A.1. brand in North America.

A.1. brand in the UK was owned by Ranks Hovis McDougall for a time and currently owned by Premier Foods.[8]

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

Rock musician and singer Meat Loaf 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)".[9]


A.1. Sauce in the US includes tomato purée, raisin paste, spirit vinegar, corn syrup, salt, crushed orange purée, dried garlic and onions, spice, celery seed, caramel color, potassium sorbate, and xanthan gum.[10] The 'Original' A1 recipe exported to the USA dramatically differs from the versions sold in the UK and in Canada.[2] A.1. Sauce in Canada includes tomato purée, marmalade, raisins, onions, garlic, malt vinegar, sugar, salt, tragacanth, spices and flavorings.

Legal action

A.1. in the United States was the subject of a trademark dispute between then-owners RJR Nabisco and Arnie Kaye of Westport, Connecticut, whose International Deli was producing and selling its own recipe condiment under the name "A.2. Sauce". In 1991, the United States District Court for Connecticut found in favor of Nabisco.[11][12]

See also


  1. ^ "Oki-nanaya: The steak source which is basic in A1 source (A one source) 240 g | Okinawa│ | Rakuten Global Market". Archived from the original on 15 June 2020. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b "A1: A History of Brand & Co". letslookagain.com. 6 October 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  3. ^ "After 50 Years, A.1. Steak Sauce Ends Exclusive Relationship with Beef, Drops 'Steak' from Name and Friends Other Foods". Yahoo! Finance. 15 May 2014. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  4. ^ Morris, Evan (2004). From Altoids to Zima: the surprising stories behind 125 brand names. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-5797-8.
  5. ^ Raichlen, Steven (2000). Barbecue bible: sauces, rubs, and marinades, bastes, butters & glazes. Workman Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7611-1979-1.
  6. ^ "Brand and Co". gracesguide.co.uk.
  7. ^ "After 50 Years, A.1. Steak Sauce Ends Exclusive Relationship With Beef, Drops 'Steak' From Name And Friends Other Foods". MarketWatch.com. 15 May 2014. Archived from the original on 10 November 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  8. ^ "Search for a trade mark – Intellectual Property Office". trademarks.ipo.gov.uk. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  9. ^ A.1. Makes Meat Loaf Sing on YouTube
  10. ^ Justo, Patrick Di (20 June 2011). "What's Inside: A.1. Steak Sauce". Wired. Vol. 19, no. 7. Condé Nast. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  11. ^ "Reminiscing A1". metnews.com. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
  12. ^ "Nabisco Brands, Inc. v. Kaye". 760 F. Supp. 25 (D. Conn. 1991) – via justia.com.