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Owner Associated British Foods
Country United Kingdom
Introduced 1706 (1706)
Markets Tea

Twinings 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 rate-payer, having occupied the same premises on the Strand since 1706.[1]


  • History 1
  • Ethics 2
  • Notable members of the Twining family 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Twinings' shop on the Strand in central London was established as a tea room in 1706.

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]

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 Bengali 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 1960s, also have associations with the blend.[5]

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

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.

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 [9] Twinings has also 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. In the Ethical Consumer magazine on a scale of 0 to 20 where 0–4 is ranked as "very poor", Twinings receives a score of 2 as of 2013.[9]

The company also aim 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


  1. ^ Winn, Christopher (2007). I Never Knew That About London. Ebury Press.  
  2. ^ Phillips-Evans, James (2012) The Longcrofts: 500 Years of a British Family, Amazon, pp. 244–245
  3. ^  
  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".  
  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 "Free buyers guide to Tea".  (subscription required)
  10. ^ "Twinings Ovaltine Code of Conduct" (PDF). 27 March 2012. 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. 

External links

  • Official British website
  • Official Canadian website
  • Official American website
  • Interview with Stephen Twining (September 2006) The Citizen, South Africa
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