Are you a fan of Fray Bentos corned beef? Have you been struggling to find it on the shelves lately? You’re not alone.
Many loyal customers have been left disappointed and confused by the sudden disappearance of this iconic British brand. Some have even speculated that it has been discontinued altogether.
But fear not, we’ve done some digging and have some answers for you. In this article, we’ll explore the history of Fray Bentos, its current ownership, and whether or not you can still get your hands on that beloved can of corned beef.
So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of Fray Bentos.
Can You Still Get Fray Bentos Corned Beef?
The short answer is yes, you can still get Fray Bentos corned beef. However, it may not be as readily available as it once was.
Fray Bentos is a brand that has been around for over a century, known for its tinned processed meat products, including corned beef and meat pies. The brand was originally processed and packaged in the port of Fray Bentos in Uruguay until the 1960s. Today, the brand is owned by Baxters, a Scottish soups and sauces business.
According to Baxters, they have not ceased production of Fray Bentos corned beef. However, they have seen a decline in demand from their retail and wholesale customers, which may explain why some shoppers are having trouble finding it on the shelves.
It’s worth noting that Fray Bentos corned beef is now made and canned for Baxters at a facility in Lourdes, Southern France. The beef used in the manufacture of the corned beef at this facility is usually of French origin, although they do process beef from other European countries.
If you’re having trouble finding Fray Bentos corned beef at your local supermarket, it may be worth checking with other retailers or online stores. Brazilian and Uruguayan processed and canned corned beef can still be bought at various retailers, including Aldi.
The History Of Fray Bentos Corned Beef
The history of Fray Bentos corned beef dates back to the second half of the 19th century, when the brand was created in Uruguay. The name “Fray Bentos” is derived from the port of Fray Bentos, where the products were originally processed and packaged until the 1960s. The town of Fray Bentos grew up alongside the German-run, British-financed factory, as workers flocked here from across Uruguay and around 60 other countries.
Soon, the factory began producing another popular product from off-cuts of meat: tinned corned beef. Oxo and corned beef became staples for working-class people across Europe for whom meat had previously been a luxury item. They also provided inexpensive, long-lasting, and easy-to-carry rations for British soldiers during the Boer War and British and German troops in World War One, as well as for polar explorers like Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton.
In 1924, the company was bought by the British Vestey Group and renamed Frigorífico Anglo del Uruguay. Taking advantage of fast-developing refrigeration technology, “El Anglo” started exporting frozen meat around the world, alongside Oxo, corned beef, and more than 200 other products, from leather to soap, sausages to jams. In 1943 alone, 16 million tins of corned beef were shipped out from Fray Bentos, the vast majority used to power the Allied war effort.
The popularity of Fray Bentos corned beef continued for many years, earning it a royal following as well. However, in recent times, the brand has seen a decline in demand from their retail and wholesale customers. Despite this decline in demand, Baxters has not ceased production of Fray Bentos corned beef. It is still available for purchase at various retailers and online stores.
The Acquisition And Ownership Of Fray Bentos
Fray Bentos has had various owners over the years. The brand was bought by US food giant Campbell’s in 1993, then sold to Premier Foods in 2006, along with Campbell’s other UK assets. In February 2011, Princes Limited acquired Fray Bentos as part of its £182 million purchase of Premier Foods’ canning division. However, the Office of Fair Trading raised concerns over Princes’ high concentration of ownership in the canned foods market, and the decision was made to sell Fray Bentos.
Scottish food group Baxters announced in April 2011 that it had acquired Fray Bentos from Princes for an undisclosed sum. Manufacturing of Fray Bentos products was set to transfer over the next 12 months from Long Sutton in East Anglia to Baxters’ production facility in Fochabers. It was unclear how many jobs would result from the switch.
Baxters described Fray Bentos as “an iconic British brand” and said it planned to invest and develop the brand to extend its reach into the ambient meat market. Today, Fray Bentos products are still manufactured at Baxters’ site at Fochabers in Scotland.
The Disappearance Of Fray Bentos Corned Beef From Shelves
Fray Bentos corned beef has been a kitchen cupboard staple for over a century. However, in recent months, the familiar tins have been disappearing from supermarket shelves by stealth. The product does not appear on the list of products available on the brand’s website and is not stocked by any of the big four supermarkets in the UK – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Morrisons.
The removal of Fray Bentos corned beef from shelves has alarmed devotees, who believe that the current owners of the brand have lost touch with customers. Despite being enjoyed by generations of families in everything from packed lunches to hearty hash, the iconic product has been removed from the nation’s supermarket shelves.
The decline in demand for Fray Bentos corned beef can be attributed to a switch away from salty and fatty foods. In recent years, consumers have become more health-conscious and are opting for healthier food choices.
However, some shoppers are still looking for Fray Bentos corned beef and are having trouble finding it on supermarket shelves. The stockpiling of food due to Brexit uncertainty has also contributed to the shortage of this product.
Fray Bentos corned beef is now made and canned for Baxters at a facility in Lourdes, Southern France. The facility processes beef from other European countries, although the beef used in the manufacture of the corned beef is usually of French origin.
While it may not be as readily available as it once was, Fray Bentos corned beef can still be found at some retailers or online stores. Brazilian and Uruguayan processed and canned corned beef can also be bought at various retailers, including Aldi.
Is Fray Bentos Corned Beef Discontinued?
There has been some confusion and concern among Fray Bentos corned beef fans, with rumors circulating that the product has been discontinued. However, Baxters, the current owner of the Fray Bentos brand, has stated that they have not ceased production of the corned beef.
According to Baxters, the reason for the perceived scarcity of Fray Bentos corned beef is due to a decline in demand from retailers and wholesalers. This may be due to changes in consumer preferences or increased competition from other brands.
It’s important to note that Fray Bentos corned beef is now manufactured and canned at a facility in Lourdes, Southern France. The beef used in the production of the corned beef at this facility is usually of French origin, although they do source beef from other European countries as well.
While it may not be as easy to find as it once was, Fray Bentos corned beef is still being produced and can be purchased at various retailers and online stores. It’s worth checking with different stores or trying Brazilian or Uruguayan processed and canned corned beef as an alternative.
Where To Find Fray Bentos Corned Beef Today
If you’re looking to buy Fray Bentos corned beef, there are a few options available to you. Firstly, it’s worth checking with your local supermarket to see if they stock it. While it may not be as widely available as it once was, some stores may still have it on their shelves.
If you can’t find it at your local supermarket, you may want to try other retailers such as convenience stores or online stores. Some online retailers specialize in British products and may have Fray Bentos corned beef available for purchase.
Another option is to try Brazilian or Uruguayan processed and canned corned beef, which can be found at various retailers including Aldi. While these products may not be exactly the same as Fray Bentos corned beef, they are similar in taste and texture and may be a good alternative.
Alternatives To Fray Bentos Corned Beef
If you’re unable to find Fray Bentos corned beef, there are several alternatives available that can be used in its place. One option is to try other brands of canned corned beef, such as Princes or Spam. These brands are widely available in supermarkets and online stores.
Another option is to try making your own corned beef from scratch. This involves curing a beef brisket with salt, sugar, and spices for several days before cooking it. While this method requires more time and effort, it allows for more control over the flavor and texture of the corned beef.
If you’re looking for a different type of canned meat product, you could try canned roast beef or canned beef stew. These products are similar in texture and flavor to corned beef and can be used in recipes that call for it.
Finally, if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to canned corned beef, you could try using fresh or frozen beef brisket instead. While this option may require more preparation time, it allows for a fresher and less processed product. Just be sure to cure the brisket with salt and spices before cooking it to achieve the signature corned beef flavor.