Why You Won't Find A.1. Sauce In The UK

It doesn't matter if you like it rare, medium, or well done — if you've ever enjoyed a nice, thick steak, chances are high you've also enjoyed a drizzle of A.1. Sauce on top. The popular condiment is found on the tables of steakhouses across the United States and has been around since its invention all the way back in the 1800s (via How Stuff Works). Similar in taste and texture to Worcestershire sauce (minus the heat), the original flavor of A.1. Sauce is made up of ingredients like tomato purée, raisin paste, dried garlic, and onions, and it pairs well with everything from steak to burgers to chicken.

Despite how beloved — and how omnipresent — A.1. Steak Sauce is in the U.S., however, it's hard to come by across the pond. Why isn't the condiment sold in U.K. grocery stores? And why isn't it as abundant as it is here in America? The truth behind the lack of A.1. Sauce in the U.K. has less to do with the sauce itself and more to do with all of its competitors.

There are too many other steak sauces in the UK

Here in the U.S., when you think of steak sauce, you likely only think of A.1. But that isn't the case in the United Kingdom, where there's a large variety of steak sauces to choose from, like Daddies, Heinz 57, and Fletcher's Tiger Sauce to name a few. One of the most popular is HP Sauce, and as The Guardian reports, it accounts for some 71% of the U.K.'s "brown sauce" market.

Surprisingly, however, A.1. Sauce was actually invented in Great Britain in 1862 by the co-manager of cuisine at Hyde Park's International Exhibition (via Let's Look Again). But in the 1970s, the tangy condiment was pushed out of the majority of U.K. supermarkets thanks to the plethora of other options — there simply was no more room for A.1. to compete in the British food space. You can still snag it at some Tesco grocery stores in the U.K. if you're lucky, but it's a rare find.