Percy Pig turns 30: From humble porcine beginnings to global superstardom for Marks & Spencer’s most famous sweet treat

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Percy Pig, one of Britain’s most famous and beloved confectionary characters, is turning 30 next month.

Having started life as a humble sweet back in 1992, Percy has become Marks & Spencer’s most famous brand, with the retailer selling over 20 million bags of Percy Pigs containing some 400 million individual sweets annually. On average, 38 bags of Percy Pigs are sold every minute.

Created by product developer Julia Catton, it took almost a year to perfect the now-famous Percy Pig texture, with initial efforts invariably coming out spoiled, wrinkled, or with misshapen faces. They soon cracked the secret formula, however, and Percy was born.

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“Percy is like one of my offspring,” says Julia. “Partly because I created him, but also because I still love Percy Pig sweets. He brings a smile to people’s faces wherever he goes. One of the things I think helps drive Percy’s success now is the nostalgia associated with buying his sweets.

Percy Pig Cake TinPercy Pig Cake Tin
Percy Pig Cake Tin

“The people with young children today were the generation brought up with Percy on long car journeys, days out, and birthday parties,” she adds. "Percy’s wrapped up into all those wonderful memories, so they still buy the range for themselves and for their own families to enjoy too.”

Percy’s growth has been stratospheric. Over the past three decades, 50 Percy Pig items have come to market, including pyjamas, bedding, bath fizzers, and sweet bouquets. There are also now 12 variations of Percy Pig sweets available, too.

With Britain’s beloved porcine pal born on July 23rd, Percy shares a birthday with Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, footballer Danny Ings, and actor Woody Harrelson.