Paddington Bear: To marmalade's rescue from darkest Peru

With the industry in a pickle, Paddington Bear has been enlisted as the face of the fruit preserve

After successfully concluding negotiations with the handlers of an anthropomorphised South American bear, Britain's biggest marmalade maker has pulled off one of the most obvious commercial tie-ups in history: signing up Paddington Bear.

From this month, jars of Robertson's Golden Shred will carry images of the marmalade-loving children's character from "darkest Peru" in exchange for an undisclosed sum to his creator, Michael Bond.

For Robertson's, the deal should attract children to marmalade, whose sales have been tumbling for years and which is overwhelmingly bought by the over-45s. It is also an opportunity to develop a long-term association with an affectionately regarded figure following an indifferent response to the licensing of characters from the stories of Roald Dahl.

Robertson's phased out its Golly mascot in 2002, saying it no longer connected with modern shoppers but denied it was responding to complaints about racism.

The brand's owner, Premier Foods, was only able to secure the deal after a contract for Paddington with Marmite had expired. David Atkinson, spreads manager at Premier Foods, hoped the UK's most famous Peruvian would appear for as long as Golly, who lasted for 90 years.

"At the moment we have got no firm end to the tie-up and there are no plans to take him off," he said. "When you have got someone as well known as Paddington, the most famous marmalade lover in the world, why would you want to take him off again?"

Britain is the only country which consumes significant quantities of marmalade, spending £55m a year on the orange preserve, but sales fell by 3 per cent last year.

Mr Atkinson was at a loss to explain why it had taken so long to hire Paddington. "It's just something we haven't done," he said. "If you go back far enough, there were the golliwogs and we had a while with Roald Dahl, but that didn't really get traction with consumers. We looked at this 18 months ago but, unfortunately, when we were looking at it Paddington appeared on TV with Marmite so we weren't able to do a tie-up."

Premier Foods would not discuss how much it paid the Bond family, but it is not believed to be substantial.

Michael Bond, 84, based his creation on a teddy bear he noticed on a shelf in a shop near Paddington railway station in London on Christmas Eve 1956, and the first story was published in 1958.

His daughter, Karen Jankel, 51, acts as the "guardian" of the bear's commercial deals, which are dealt with by the entertainment company Chorion. "We have to weigh things up and have to work out whether they are a good idea but, being marmalade, this was quite an easy decision. It's a good fit," Mrs Jankel said.

"It is extraordinary that it hasn't happened before now. It's probably because marmalade isn't normally thought of as a children's product, but Paddington appeals to a range of age groups. He's very much a family bear."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Sales Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This airport parking organisation are looking...

    Recruitment Genius: PCV Bus Drivers

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you enjoy bus driving and are looking for ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - York

    £18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - Y...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project