Bee Bee Biscuits Limited / Symbol Biscuits Limited

Bee Bee Biscuits Limited / Symbol Biscuits Limited

Bee Bee Biscuits was established in 1922 as The Blackpool Biscuit Company. Selling its Brandy Snap and Shrewsbury biscuits locally in Blackpool, the company quickly expanded and in 1924 moved to larger premises in the town and began employing travelling salesmen.

In 1931 Lesme Ltd. of Wilseden, London, acquired control of the company. Production of biscuits continued in Blackpool but the head office was moved to London. A new factory was erected in Devonshire Road, Blackpool in 1932 and two years later all biscuit production was transferred there. Bee Bee became one of the pioneers of pre-packed biscuits, which up until 1933 had largely been sold loose or in tins.

In 1938, Lyons & Co., a British company which controlled the largest food empire in Britain at this time, purchased the Bee Bee Biscuit Company. Six years later, Lyons changed Bee Bee Biscuit’s name to Symbol Biscuits and began selling biscuits under the Symbol and Lyons brand names.

Symbol manufactured approximately 40 different types of sweet, dry and savoury biscuits packed and sold under the Symbol and Lyons brands, its logo being an elephant’s head. The introduction of Maryland Cookies in 1956 brought a significant increase in revenues.

In 1990 Lyons changed Symbol Biscuit’s name to Lyons Biscuits Limited. The company continued to trade profitably until December 1994 when the business was sold to a subsidiary of Hillsdown Holidays plc. for around £20 million. At the time 780 people worked at the Blackpool factory. Since then the company has been acquired by a U.S. Investment house and is currently part of Burton’s Foods Limited, the second largest biscuit company in the UK.