Global appeal of Henderson's Relish revealed as sauce sold in surprising places

It is a Sheffield institution without which no kitchen cupboard or restaurant table is complete.

Friday, 27th August 2021, 3:05 pm
Updated Friday, 27th August 2021, 3:05 pm

But until recently much of the UK has sadly been denied the pleasure of Henderson’s Relish in their lives, often relying instead on the rival West Midlands-based sauce which we’ll leave unnamed.

That’s slowly beginning to change as more parts of the UK wake up to the delights of the liquid gold which can improve any meal.

Its makers this week shared a photo of bottles on sale in Birmingham, describing jokingly how ‘other, lesser condiments’ jostling for space on the shelves had been pixellated to ‘protect sensitive viewers’.

9 March 2017....... Matt Davies ,general manager of Henderson's Relish at their HQ in Sheffield. Picture Scott Merrylees

The cheeky post got fans talking about the most far-flung locations in which they had found Henderson’s Relish being sold, from the Isle of Wight to Glasgow.

Henderson’s Relish has helpfully created a map of stockists, which, while not being exhaustive, shows you can pick up a bottle anywhere from Penzance in Cornwall to the Orkney islands off the north-eastern coast of the Scottish mainland.

It is even available in Gibraltar, and earlier this year the company, which dates back to 1885, announced it was launching to the Japanese market as a seafood sauce.

Henderson’s general manager Matt Davies said it was hard to keep track of exactly where it is available as the stock is today sent to supermarket distribution centres, rather than individual stores, to be shipped on to whichever branches that retailer chooses.

Bottles of Henderson's Relish on the shelves of a supermarket in Birmingham (pic: Henderson's Relish)

“We used to be quite proud of the fact you could only really get Henderson’s Relish in or around Sheffield, but that is changing,” he said.

“It’s a unique product and people love the taste but many people have never tried it before because they’ve not grown up around here, so if people around the country can get it in their local shop that’s great.

“We haven’t changed how we work. We’re a Sheffield company and we always will be.”

Mr Davies added that one of the biggest changes in recent times was being able to order it online, with bottles sent around the world to ex-pats from Sheffield who can’t live without it and a big supply of miniatures even shipped out to be used as favours for a wedding in New Zealand.

He described the sauce as a ‘truly democratic’ one, which is used everywhere from pie vans to Michelin-starred restaurants, of which he said it had supplied ‘a number’.

Customers living outside Sheffield have been sharing their relief that Henderson’s is finally available near them, and describing the lengths they used to have to go to to get a bottle.

Tracy Hudson wrote: “My daughter picked some up in Heron foods Wolverhampton. I'm in Sheffield and it's been a lifetime of ferrying relish to Wolverhampton.”

Rachael Croft said: “So glad I can now get it in Brum. Used to raid the shelves every time I went up to Sheffield

And John Jones commented: “Also available north of the border, you just have to find a Morrisons. Sadly for me that involves a ferry, a train, change trains, another ferry, 15 mins walk. Same again on the way back. Well worth it!”