It Took A Six-Year-Old To Redesign A Bizarre Label For “Brown Sauce”

A little kid’s confusion over a perplexing label is turned into creative action–and a new label.


While the food scene in London is as sophisticated as pretty much anywhere else these days, the British struggled historically with a reputation for weird, terrible food. Lots of kidney stuff and boiled things. The items depicted on the label for “Essential Waitrose Brown Sauce” harked back to those classic bad British food associations. The label depicted a quaking tomato, and what looked like some gold nuggets and two brown lumps that resemble Medjool dates or . . . really, something much more disgusting.

Before (Left) and AfterPhoto: Caters News Agency

As it turns out, six-year-old Harry Deverill, had a similar complaint about the label on his favorite condiment. “I asked Daddy what the picture is of,” young Deverill wrote to Waitrose’s managing director. “Daddy didn’t know and neither do I.” In his note, Deverill (now a strapping lad of seven) offered to illustrate a new label for Waitrose–one with easily recognizable foodstuffs. His creation is a charming illustration of a full English breakfast of fried eggs, sausage, baked beans, and tomatoes. Waitrose liked the picture so much, that the company has introduced a limited edition label on its bottles across the U.K., featuring Deverill’s image. It’s a victory for consumer-friendly design and, one supposes, for brown sauce.

Now, about that name . . .

Dear Mark Price,

I am writing as the other morning I had Waitrose essential Brown Sauce with my bacon sandwiches. I asked Daddy what the picture is of on the label. Daddy didn’t know and neither do I. Please could you let me know. Mummy says I am good at drawing so if you would like me to draw a new picture for the label I would be happy to.

Kind regards, Harry Deverill, aged 6.

About the author

Jennifer Miller is the author of The Year of the Gadfly (Harcourt, 2012) and Inheriting The Holy Land (Ballantine, 2005). She's a regular contributor to Co.Create.