A.1. Steak Sauce

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A.1 Sauce
File:A1 Steak Sauce.png
Place of origin United Kingdom
Creator(s) Henderson William Brand
Type Steak sauce

A.1. Sauce (formerly A.1. Steak Sauce) is a brand of brown sauce produced by Kraft Foods. Sold from 1831 as a condiment for meat or game dishes in the United Kingdom, it was later introduced to North America, where it was marketed as a steak sauce. In May 2014, Kraft Foods announced it was dropping the "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 only sold by Tesco and Ocado.[2]

History and ownership

A.1. Steak Sauce at Wal-Mart

The original sauce upon which A.1. is based was created in 1824 by Henderson William Brand, a chef to King George IV of the United Kingdom.[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 US as "A.1 steak sauce".[6] In 1931, A.1. was introduced to Canada.

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

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, the 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 tomatoes, raisin paste, distilled vinegar, corn syrup, salt, crushed orange purée, dried garlic and onions, herbs and spices, caramel color, and xanthan gum.[8]

The original sauce included more expensive malt vinegar, molasses, and marmalade in its ingredients.

Legal action

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

See also


  1. "After 50 Years, A.1. Steak Sauce Ends Exclusive Relationship With Beef, Drops "Steak" From Name And Friends Other Foods". Yahoo!. 2014-05-15. Retrieved 2015-03-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "A1 Steak Sauce". Retrieved 20 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "After 50 Years, A.1. Steak Sauce Ends Exclusive Relationship With Beef, Drops "Steak" From Name And Friends Other Foods". MarketWatch. 2014-05-15. Retrieved 2015-03-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. A.1. Makes Meat Loaf Sing on YouTube
  8. "What's Inside: A.1. Steak Sauce - WIRED". WIRED.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Reminiscing A1". Retrieved 2008-09-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links