The History of Shortbread Part 2

The history of Walkers Shortbread

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While Walkers Shortbread can’t trace its history all the way back to the 12th century, the family business has been running for well over a hundred years. In 1898, Joseph Walker set up his first bakery at just 21 years of age. He set out, with a loan of £50, to bake and sell ‘The World’s Finest Shortbread’, and from humble beginnings, he has achieved just that. He soon set up a successful bakery and shop in the Scottish town of Aberlour in Speyside, which remains the headquarters of Walkers Shortbread to this day. From the early beginnings in 1898, Walkers Shortbread has grown as a business along with the Walker family. The product range has increased since the early start, including oatcakes, biscuits, cakes and tarts, but the shortbread recipe of just four top quality ingredients remain the same: flour, creamery butter, sugar and salt. This has been at the core of the business since the beginning, and the insistence on real butter while competitors started experimenting with margarine and other replacements meant that Walkers has been synonymous with taste and quality for over a hundred years. Read more about the history of Walkers, and find out why we keep winning international awards and accolades for the centuries-old shortbread that keeps being popular to this day.

What does shortbread mean today?

Shortbread has a special place in Scottish identity. Still served as a special treat, shortbread is one of the many things that makes Scotland Scottish. It is popular all across the UK and the world, and in 2006, shortbread was chosen to represent the UK at the Café Europe celebrations marking Europe Day across the European Union.

The legacy from Joseph Walker, and the family-run business ever since has grown to be a key part in the Scottish food manufacturing industry, and one of Scotland’s most loved exports. We are proud that our shortbread is enjoyed around the world as visitors and travellers bring shortbread as gifts from Scotland. Shortbread is often quoted as one of the things people miss most about our country when they leave. And shortbread is so popular that there is even a National Shortbread Day on January 6th every year.

The future of shortbread

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With such a long and varied history, it is hard to predict what lays in store for shortbread in the future. Here at Walkers, we bake ‘The World’s Finest Shortbread’ using the same recipe that Joseph Walker started out with more than 100 years ago. We will continue to bake our famous shortbread fingers, popular petticoat tails and selection of shortbread shapes for many years to come. But innovation is nothing new in our bakery business. Every year we release new and limited edition products, whether it’s to celebrate historical happenings like the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee or seasonal assortments at Christmas. At Walkers our product development team keep innovating and creating new products, like our gluten free shortbread range, allowing even more people to enjoy ‘The World’s Finest Shortbread’. We’ve launched other biscuit ranges and new takes on traditional cakes, so we are certain that the future holds many exciting developments that we look forward to exploring. But we can also say that we are certain that the classic Walkers Shortbread, ‘The World’s Finest Shortbread’, will continue to be a favourite in the future too!