The History of Oxo

Written by nancy hayden | 13/05/2017
The History of Oxo
Oxo began producing beef extracts as a flavour enhancer in 1840. (boiled beef-meat image by Maria Brzostowska from

Oxo is a British food manufacturing company that has been producing stocks, gravies and yeast extracts since 1840. The company has developed an iconic image over the years with its advertisements promoting the importance of family meal times.

The Beginning

The Oxo company began when Professor Justus Von Liebig introduced his first beef extract to the market in 1840. Originally known as Liebig's Extract of Meat company, its products were hailed by many doctors of the time to have many health benefits. It was not until 1900 that the company adopted the name Oxo.

The Olympics

The Oxo company managed a huge promotional boost in 1908 by becoming an official caterer of the London Olympic Games. The fortifying beef drink was supplied to the event's runners.

The Oxo Cube

The company's most iconic product, the Oxo cube, was created in 1910. Previously, the beef extracts were in liquid form. Cubes of beef extract proved to be more popular and easy to use than the companies previous products.

World War I

The health benefits and popularity of the Oxo cubes were such that during the first World War, they were part of the soldiers' ration packs.

British Icon

From the 1930s onward, Oxo products were marketed as an inexpensive way to add flavour to family meals during times of hardship. The company had maintained its family-friendly image within its advertisements ever since making it synonymous with the traditional British Sunday dinner.

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