These are the 29 facts you never knew about baked beans

The city of Birmingham has been revealed as the baked bean capital of Britain, according to a study.

Britain’s industrial heart, home to Edgbaston cricket ground and birthplace of Black Sabbath beat Manchester to claim top spot.

According to a poll of 2,000 Brits, almost eighty per cent of Brummies eat beans at least once a week.

Manchester was a close second with around 70 per cent regularly heating up a tin of beans for lunch or dinner.

Sheffield was third with 65 per cent, followed by their near neighbours, Leeds.

The city of Liverpool, home to two world-famous football clubs, birthplace of The Beatles and the former Capital of Culture, also enjoy beans with 63 per cent enjoy digging into the hearty snack.

Aaron Crinion of Heinz Beanz, which commissioned the study, said: “We’re celebrating 50 years of the Beanz Meanz Heinz slogan this year.

‘Everyone has a view on what Beanz Meanz to them, which is testament to the tagline that continues to strike a chord 50 years later.

‘To celebrate we wanted to discover and share exactly how much Brits love Beanz.”

Overall 91 per cent of us enjoy the traditional beans on toast pairing, but it has to be beans on top of toast and not on the side.

Butter and cheese, with 38 per cent, ruled the roost when it comes to the nation’s favourite toppings.

Dinner time is prime time for digging in, with more than 65 per cent eating beans with their evening meal – while 23 per cent tuck into them ‘two or three times a week’.

To mark the 50-year anniversary of the iconic ‘Beanz Meanz Heinz’ slogan – voted the UK’s favourite advertising slogan of all time* – Heinz Beanz has also released 50 special, limited edition labels, on 15 million cans.

The Heinz Beanz cans will be emblazoned with 50 different variations of the ‘Beanz Meanz Heinz’ slogan, linked to people’s association with the iconic can.

The exclusive designs will include: ‘Beanz Meanz…Kidz, Spudz, Smilez, Mealz, Mumz, Friendz’ to name a few. Beanz fanz will be able to get their hands on these special cans at supermarkets nationwide from now, until stocks last (RRP single 75p and four pack £2.69)


1. Baked Beans were originally sold in the UK by Fortnum and Mason in 1901 as a luxury item. A large can would cost 9d (the equivalent to £2.15 by today’s prices).

2. The first can of British-manufactured Heinz Beanz was created in the Heinz factory in Harlesden in 1928.

3. The bean centre at the Heinz Kitt Green factory in Wigan (opened in 1959) uses 1,000 tonnes of dry beans per week.

4. Royalty have long been fans of Heinz Beanz, with The Queen accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh visiting the factory in 2009, following the Queen Mother’s visit in 1959. Heinz has now held a Royal Warrant for 63 years.

5. Heinz Beanz are one of the most popular foods in the UK. Every day over one a half million cans of Heinz Baked Beans are consumed in the UK. That’s more than 540 million cans a year.

6. There are approximately 465 beans per standard 415g can of Heinz Beanz.

7. The small white beans used to make Heinz Beanz are a type of haricot bean called ‘Navy’ beans. The other main ingredient is tomato puree, made with Mediterranean grown tomatoes.

8. Every individual bean is checked for colour and size before they are allowed into a can of Heinz Beanz.

9. They were originally called BAKED beans because the can is first filled with blanched beans, then the sauce, then the can is sealed with a lid, and THEN the cooking begins. The beans are cooked inside the sealed can. Yes that’s right – INSIDE THE CAN – and not before they go into the can.

10. The tomato sauce is blended with a secret mix of spices to create the distinctive Heinz flavour.

11. The special Heinz Beanz spice mix comes to the factory in numbered – as opposed to labelled – bags to keep the recipe a secret. Only three people in the world know the exact ingredients.

12. 50,000 tonnes of navy beans are shipped annually from North America to Liverpool docks and delivered every day to the Heinz factory in Wigan in two-tonne bags.


13. The factory holds 36 hours’ worth of beans at any one time, and 60 days’ worth of stock is held at Liverpool docks, just in case bad weather stops beans from travelling over the Atlantic in ships.

14. Scott took crates of Heinz Beanz on the infamous British Antarctic Expedition which started in 1910. A photograph from the expedition shows Frederick John Hooper tucking into a can whilst seated on a Heinz crate in 1911.

15. The original recipe for Heinz Beanz was based on Boston beans, so they used to contain pork. But because of shortages in the second World War, the pork was taken out and they were sold as vegetarian beans. They’ve remained the same ever since.

16. In the 1940s, the Ministry of Food classified Heinz Beanz as an “essential food” during wartime rationing.

17. The slogan ‘Beanz Meanz Heinz’ – created in 1967 – was unanimously voted best advertising slogan of all time by an expert panel from the UK’s advertising industry. The slogan now has a place in history, taking top slot in the Ad Slogan Hall of Fame.

18. Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik, Ellie Goulding and Joss Stone are all known to be fanz of Heinz Beanz.

19. Heinz Beanz are exported to more than 60 countries, including Russia and China.

20. On The Who’s ‘Sell Out’ album cover, Roger Daltry appears immersed in Heinz Beanz and caressing a giant Heinz Beanz can.

21. Heinz Beanz are free from artificial colour and preservatives and a valuable source of protein and fibre, as well as being low in fat and sugars.

22. A serving of baked beans on toast, accompanied by a glass of milk, offers over a third of the recommended daily amounts of Iron, Vitamins B1 and B2 as well as three quarters the amount of Calcium we need.

23. Heinz UK salesman used to carry a hot flask full of Heinz Beanz to provide samples for their customers.

24. Heinz Snap Pot was launched back in 2007, providing personalised portions that are simply snapped and heated in the microwave for one minute before being served.

25. In 2009, Heinz developed a prototype of what was believed to be the world’s smallest portable microwave, perfectly sized to fit a Heinz Snap Pot. The Beanzawave gave workers across the country a much needed helping hand to make some of their favourite hot snacks either on the go or at their desk by just plugging the microwave into the USB port on their computers.

26. Heinz uses enough tomatoes every day to fill an Olympic size swimming pool.

27. If all the tomatoes used by Heinz in a year were loaded into 15 tonne trucks parked nose to tail, they would stretch from London to Southampton.

28. Heinz released the Fridge Pack in 2010 – the first ever resealable beans product that enables bean-fans across the country to use as much or as little as they like before they close and pop back in the fridge.

29. The well-known turquoise used as the predominant colour on the label of Heinz Beanz is registered to the brand through a UK Trade Mark registration.

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