Why Yorkshire Crisps has replaced Sheffield’s favourite Henderson's Relish flavour with Worcester Sauce

It’s the sauce that goes on everything if you live in Sheffield.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 10:53 am
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 5:06 pm

So heads understandably turned in the city when Yorkshire Crisps dropped its Henderson’s Relish flavour and, even more controversially, replaced with a Worcester Sauce variety.

However, the crisp maker has explained the move was down to a combination of what it called a changing market and the decision by Henderson’s to stop supplying the firm because it was ‘exploring expansion opportunities’.

Although Henderson’s Relish is vegan, unlike its Midlands rival Worcestershire Sauce, which contains anchovies, Yorkshire Crisps’ Henderson’s Relish flavour was not vegan-friendly as it contained milk, whereas its Worcester Sauce alternative is suitable for vegans.

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Yorkshire Crisps' old Henderson's Relish flavour and the vegan-friendly Worcester Sauce variety which is replacing it (pic: The Yorkshire Crisp Company)

Tim Wheatley, sales director at The Yorkshire Crisp Company, said it had been looking to expand its vegan range to meet the growing demand, which was why it added Worcester Sauce to its lines.

“This decision was accelerated in response to Henderson’s decision to stop supplying us as they are exploring expansion opportunities to promote the Henderson’s Relish brand,” he added.

“They are focusing on their future priorities and, after much deliberation by them, are to no longer supply product to Yorkshire Crisps….

“We are disappointed to be unable to continue our association with the iconic Yorkshire brand that is Henderson’s, which is local to our home town, but we respect their decision and hope our consumers will enjoy our new Worcester Sauce Yorkshire Crisps.”

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Mr Wheatley said that Yorkshire Crisps had worked with Henderson’s Relish for around 10 years but although the flavour had always been a big seller within South Yorkshire, where the sauce is ubiquitous, it has fared less well beyond the region where Henderson’s is less well-known.

“I know Sheffield people won’t like me saying this but when we did consumer shows outside the area and people asked what’s Henderson’s Relish you’d have to use the most relatable comparison and say it’s like Worcester Sauce. It’s not, but that’s what we’d have to say,” he explained.

“The Worcester Sauce flavour has opened up the market for us outside of Yorkshire because although we’re a regional brand we distribute across the country and we export.”

Mr Wheatley added that the company, which is based on an industrial estate in Wales Bar, near the border of Sheffield and Rotherham, has increased its turnover by 50 per cent in the last three years.

Production of Yorkshire Crisps’ Henderson’s Relish crisps ceased in November, though remaining stock is still being sold so fans may be able to track down a bag.

Henderson’s Relish has not ruled out the possibility of making its own crisps in future, or teaming up with another manufacturer, but in the meantime fans may need to add a splash of the sauce to their crisps.

Both Yorkshire Crisps and Henderson’s Relish said they wished each other well for the future.

Matt Davies, general manager of Henderson’s Relish, said: “This gives us the opportunity to think what it means for Henderson’s Relish when it comes to next year, and there’s been no financial impact on our business.

“We remain a very Sheffield-orientated brand. The business is growing further afield but our focus is here in the local area because that’s where our customers are.”