Business veteran Abram Lyle builds a sugar refinery on the Thames in East London, and as part of the cane sugar refining he produces a rich golden and smooth treacly syrup. Calling it ‘Goldie’, Lyle starts selling it from wooden casks. Before long he’s supplying a tonne a week to grocers across London and demand is such that soon the famous green and gold tin that we know today, is born.
Lyle had strong religious beliefs, which is why the tin’s famous logo depicts strongman Samson’s ‘lion and bees’ from the Bible’s Old Testament, registered as Lyle's trademark. ‘Out of the strong came forth sweetness’, as the quote goes; where bees produce honey inside the lion’s carcass, rich syrup pours from the well-loved tin… And the logo and design remain unchanged to this day (along with the delicious contents, of course).
The syrup tins were soon to prove just how hardy they were. Captain Scott took a supply of Golden Syrup with him on his ill-fated Antarctic expedition in 1910. And when Scott’s stores were re-discovered by explorers in 1956, the characteristic tin was still in good condition, along with the syrup inside.
Captain Scott’s recovered Lyle’s Golden Syrup…
and letter of thanks.
It takes nothing less than a world war to briefly change the iconic packaging. With all available metal going to the front lines to help support the war effort, the Lyle's tin material is temporarily replaced with cardboard – and a packaging explanation – for the duration.
Lyle's Golden Syrup is now so popular that King George V is partial to a drop. Lyle's includes a ‘Royal Warrant’ on its tin to highlight its status supplying to the monarchy. There it remains to this day, now ‘By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen.’
Lyle's Black Treacle, with its stronger bitter-sweet flavour and dark black colour is launched. It becomes a staple in kitchen cupboards across the UK, adding new depths of richness to classic recipes like Christmas cake, treacle toffee and savoury marinades.
Lyle's Golden Syrup flows from an 'easy pour’ bottle for the first time – making it that little bit easier, and less sticky, to enjoy every day.
Lyle's Squeezy Dessert Syrups, perfect for topping ice cream, fruit and other desserts – are launched. Delicious flavours include strawberry, chocolate, butterscotch and original Lyle's Golden Syrup.
Guinness World Records confirms the classic Lyle's Golden Syrup tin as the world's oldest unchanged brand packaging. It has remained essentially the same since the tin took shape in 1883. Just like the authentic taste that makes it a kitchen cupboard staple.
Time to celebrate 125 years of making delicious Lyle's Golden Syrup. To commemorate this historic milestone seven special edition golden tins are created, plus one rather distinctive Lyle's Golden Syrup tanker.
Lyle's squeezes more smiles (and less mess), from morning porridge to the dessert course with the launch of the Baking and Breakfast bottles. The Baking Bottle makes it easier for cooks to add the goodness of Lyle's Golden Syrup, by squeezing it directly into cake mixes, sauces and marinades and onto deserts of all kinds. The Breakfast Bottle helps squeeze golden sweetness over morning pancakes, porridge, fruit and yoghurts quickly and easily, thanks to its flip cap and non-drip valve.
More than a million tins are leaving our factory on the banks of the Thames each month. They prop up pantries in all four corners of the globe, from the USA to Yemen and China; South Africa to Australia.