With brands including Cadbury’s drinking chocolate, Typhoo tea, HP Beans, Chivers, Hartley’s jams and Loyd Grossman sauces, Premier is as much a guardian of Britain’s tea-time heritage as a retailer. Last year the company, owned by an American private-equity group, acquired several Nestlé brands including Sarsons vinegar, Branston pickle, Sunpat peanut butter and Gale’s honey. It reported sales of £883m in 2002, when it had 4,337 employees.
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