Red Label Tea Packet

1918 tea packet outer. 1918 tea packet seals.
1918 Tea packet outer. (70 Kb). 1918 Tea packet seals. (48 Kb).

Sainsbury's have been sold Red Label tea since 1903. Today it is Sainsbury's biggest selling own brand, and the UK's fifth largest tea brand.

John James Sainsbury selected the blends with the help of George Payne, a tea merchant based near Tower Bridge. Each was named after the colour of the seal on the top of the packet. Blue Label was sold at 1s 2d (6p) a pound, Green Label at 1s 4d (7p) and Red Label at 1s 6d (7½p).

tea display, watford 1915.
Tea display Watford 1915. (139Kb.)

In 1904 the range was extended with the introduction of two further blends: Yellow Label at 1s 0d (5p) a pound and Brown Label at 1s 8d (8p). Each type of tea was available in 2oz, 4oz and 8oz packets which were prepacked at George Payne's warehouse, in a brown greaseproof paper and a foil lining.

Above is a copy of a tea packet for you to make your own version. To make it as accurate as possible, it is best printed out on brown paper. The label has been left blank for you to decide on the colour, though coloured ones are also available. Instructions for folding the top and bottom are below. You can print out a replica section from an original packet of Red Label tea in Sainsbury's Archives or you can print out the template onto coloured paper to produce a variety of blends.

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Copyright J Sainsbury plc, 2001.