1869 The first cuppa
Arthur Brooke opens his first shop in Manchester, and its success lies in his sale of reliable tea blends. His big break comes in the late 1870s when a grocer asks for a bulk order of tea at wholesale prices.
1930s The pre-digestive era
Arthur Brooke launches in the UK tea market under the name of ‘Pre-Gest-Tea’ – suggesting that the tea could be drunk before food was digested. Grocers abbreviate it to PG, and the company adds ‘tips’ to highlight the fact that PG tips uses the top two leaves and bud of each plant to make its tea.
1950s Our television debut
In 1956, we broadcast our first TV ad. The stars? Four chimpanzees, quaffing from china cups. As chimpanzees do. The ‘Chimp Tea Party’ kicked off what would become one of the nation’s favourite campaigns.
1960s It’s in the bag
The makers of PG tips introduce the tea bag to a stunned nation. They catch on quickly and there are reports of mass hysteria. Tea bags soon out sell loose-leaf tea.
1970s Tea-V stars
In 1971, we shot our most famous ad: ‘Mr Shifter’, featuring, yes, chimps – this time moving a piano up (then down) a staircase. The ad was broadcast 1,900 times.
1980s Royal assent
By the ‘80s, 50% of tea lovers were drinking tea not by the pot, but the mug. We met the challenge with our mug-sized stringed tea bag.
One such PG tips drinker was Prince Edward – he was photographed carrying a packet on his way to work. Three hours later, our new ad was in the papers. ‘A prince amongst teas’, it read.
1990s The eighth wonder of the world
The makers of PG tips launch the revolutionary PG tips pyramid bags. With more room inside, it acts like a miniature teapot, giving the leaves more room to move.
2000s Raise your mug to 75 years…
Not satisfied with our award-winning pyramid bag, we went back to work to make it even better. Our 2003 redesign did just that: made with 50% more permeable material for our best ever flavour.
The following year, PG Decaf hit the shelves, our first caffeine-free variety.
2005 was PG tips’ 75th birthday! Such a special occasion called for an extra-special brew. And, boy, did we serve one up: a hand-crafted diamond tea bag worth £7,000. Talk about rich tea!
Drum roll please… for Monkey (voiced by Ben Miller) & Al (Johnny Vegas). In 2008, our A-list double act aped their comedy heroes, Morecambe & Wise, for our Christmas TV ad.
2010s A twist to your everyday tea
In 2011, we launched the Special Moments range. We know how much you love your regular tea, but there are moments when we all want something a bit more special – a twist to your everyday tea. So whatever your taste and mood, you’ll find the perfect cuppa amongst our range.
We’re sure you’ll find the perfect tea from our latest range whatever your taste and mood.
To celebrate the Diamond Jubilee in 2012, we released a limited-edition PG tips tea caddy. The souvenir was the perfect addition to tea parties across Britain – maybe even Her Majesty’s...?!And that’s it. Phew. I think I need a cuppa.