Baby rusks are big business.
Farley’s was a dominant manufacturer of baby products in Britain that made a whole range of infant foods. The company’s primary product was rusks, which are baby biscuits.
However, the company also made cereals, breadsticks, baby rice, and more. The company is still in existence as a subsidiary of Heinz, which markets baby products under the Farley’s name.
Starting out in 1857, Farley’s Health Products was a baker’s shop opened by Samuel Farley. The company moved several times, continuing to develop its products and hone its recipes. What consistently set Farley’s apart were its healthy foods that parents felt as though they could trust for their children. This was particularly important in the burgeoning urban areas that were sprawling up all over England at this time.
Farley’s rusks became a sensation in England, complete with a brand logo of a teddy bear. Eventually Samuel’s son Edwin sold the company’s secret formula for Farley’s rusks to William Trahair.
Trahair expanded the company tremendously and created Farley’s Infant Food Limited. Through the 1950’s the company continued to grow as three additional manufacturing centers were added. In 1968, the Glaxo Group bought out the company and took over the manufacturing of Farley’s infant foods.
Ketchup Baby Food?
Though Heinz is most famous for its ketchup in America, the company is widely known for its baby food brands in the world wide market.
In 1972, Heinz bought Farley’s from Glaxo and expanded its own line of baby products. Heinz makes a whole range of baby food products that it incorporated from Farley’s, including baby formula, cereal, baby biscuits, rusks, and more. The company changed the branding of many of the food items, however, Farley’s rusks and biscuits are still branded with the Farley’s name.
Heinz bought out the food arm of Glaxo in India, turning right around and selling a large portion of that food business. However, Heinz retained the recipes and rights to manufacture Farley’s in India.
Heinz itself is a part of the much larger Kraft Heinz conglomerate. Kraft Heinz is the third largest beverage and food producer in North America while being the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. The company has an annual revenue of more than twenty-five billion dollars each year and runs more than two dozen global brands. There are almost forty thousand employees working for Heinz worldwide.
Even though Farley’s rusks are technically for babies, the company has found a surprising niche in the adult market. This food item has been around for so long that it’s embedded in the culture of countries like India, Great Britain, Canada, and Australia. As such, the rusks have been loved for many generations of people who still love the comforting taste of Farley’s rusks.
Farley’s rusks soaked in hot milk or as a snack have been widely dubbed “the ultimate comfort food.” Though this company started out with a simple bakery on a simple street in London, it’s expanded to become one of the most loved foods across the globe. That secret recipe is still intact, and surely inventor Samuel Farley must be looking down with pride.