Rose's Lime Juice
A famous brand name for concentrated lime juice.
Rose's Lime Juice is a remarkable brand with an adventurous heritage and a robust history; sailing ships, warm West Indies isles, trenches of World War I, Africa's Gold Coast and the London Blitz are all part of the colorful legend of this unique product.
Lauchlin Rose (1829-1885) a descendent of a prominent family of Scottish ship builders, founded L. Rose & Company in Leith, Edinburgh in 1865. Describing himself as a "lime and lemon juice merchant," he combined a keen business sense with his knowledge of the sea. Scurvy, caused by a deficiency of vitamin C, had been the scourge of sailors since the early days of sailing ships. To prevent "this most terrible of the diseases of maritime life," a supply of lime or lemon juice preserved with 15% of rum, generally was boarded for long voyages. In 1867, Lauchlin developed and patented a process that effectively prevented fermentation and preserved fruit juice without alcohol. The same year, the Merchant Shipping Act was passed, whereby all vessels, Royal Navy and Merchant, were required to carry lime juice for a daily ration to ships' company. It was this enactment that resulted in British sailors being called "limeys" and brought about a sales volume boost for this new L. Rose & Company business. From Cape Town in Singapore, from Bombay to Belize, Rose's literally sailed the seven seas.
In 1875, the company's head office was moved from Scotland to England. From the first days of the brand, the classic Rose's bottle, with the embossed "lime leaves & fruit" design, has been part of the packaging. Many of the earlier versions are today considered collector items. In 1895, the company bought an abundant lime crop and considerable coca acreage at the Bath Estate on Dominica in the Caribbean. Some fresh limes from the island were annually shipped to North America, while bottled Rose's Lime Juice arrived in the United States from the United Kingdom.
The early years of the new century were successful for the growing Rose's enterprise, and in 1919 Lauchlin Rose, grandson of the founder, entered the business. By 1924, he was General Manager and that year established a lime industry in the Gold Coast, now Ghana - a new venture that really had its start in the summer of 1916. Just prior to the Battle of the Somme, Lauchlin Rose was assigned to the Royal Engineers, serving under the Engineers' Commander, Sir Gordon Gugisberg. After the war, Sir Gordon became Governor of the Gold Coast. On a chance meeting with Lauchlin, their discussion led to the proposal of developing Ghana as an alternate supply source of limes.
The Depression years of the early '30s were tough for the company as they were for all the world trade, but from 1935 until the outbreak of WWII, the business enjoyed steady expansion. As war threatened, there was growing concern that the company's facilities were in a probable target area. An alternate site was located and the move was completed to St. Albans, northwest of London. On September 7, 1940, three days after the onset of the Blitz, the company's London premises were bombed.
Rose's joined Schweppes in 1957 and has since expanded its product line. Rose's Lime Juice remains the premier choice with over 99% of U.S. retail lime juice sales. Its distinctive bottle is recognized and appreciated as a symbol of quality around the globe.
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