The founder of the company behind this famous Swiss brand was born
in 1830. His surname would give too much away, but he changed his
original Christian name - Johann Jakob - to Jean after travelling in
France and Germany.
Brand X owes its life to his manufacturing manager and nephew, Emil
Baumann, who was inspired to experiment with nougat during a visit to
France in 1908.
The resulting brand’s name merges the family name with the Italian word
for nougat, and it was patented the following year. The origins of its
distinctive shape remain unclear, although the red and cream packaging
(which, as this 1930s pack shows, has hardly changed) is said to have
been inspired by the costumes of a Folies Bergeres troupe. Brits
consumed around 32 million bars last year, making us its biggest
consumers. If you can name Brand X and fancy a bottle of Mercier
champagne, fax us on 0171 413 4504.
Karen Douglas of the National Asthma Campaign picks up the bubbly for
spotting that Bassetts Liquorice Allsorts was last week’s mystery brand