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    1940s

    Babycham had humble beginnings. The Showering brothers Arthur, Herbert, Ralph and Francis ran a small brewery, mineral water and cider making business from Shepton Mallet in Somerset. Always on the lookout for new drinks Francis Showering started his research into the fermentation of fruit juices, first with the idea of improving cider, but then realising that perry – made from perry pears – worked much better. He came up with a clear sparkling drink made from pear juice and launched the product himself using the Bristol area as his test market.

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    1950s

    In 1950 the drink was bottled, initially in large bottles then later in the trademark ‘baby’ bottles, and called Champagne de la Poire and Champagne de la Pomme. In the years that followed the perry was entered in competitions at all major agricultural shows in the country – it won first prize every time and the new perry became known as the “Baby Champ”.

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    1953

    Babycham was launched nationally in 1953. This was possibly the single most significant innovation in the drinks industry ever. In post war Britain, women were beginning to play a more dominant role in society and Francis Showering had devised a product specifically for women. The previous choices of gin, cream Sherry or stout held limited appeal. The light, sweet sparkling drink was precisely in keeping with the aspirations of women of all ages. Babycham was (and is) a lively, fun drink they could call their own. Around the same time the deer image first became associated with Babycham. Representing the light and sparkling nature of Babycham the deer rapidly became an iconic brand image.

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    1957

    As the success of Babycham grew, the entrepreneurial spirit was maintained as it became the first ever alcoholic drinks brand (the second ever brand) to be advertised on commercial television in the UK. Right from the description “Genuine Champagne Perry” to the champagne saucer style glasses, the upmarket, glamorous and aspirational values allowed women to escape their routine lives and “dream”. Production was expanded significantly and the mill at Shepton Mallet worked round the clock to meet demand. The little drink had become a worldwide success.

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    1960s

    Babycham had become one of the largest selling alcoholic drinks enjoyed by women creating themselves a new role in society. These women, who had done so much during the war, weren’t interested in the drinks market focused almost exclusively upon men. They wanted a fun and lively drink they could call their own and their clear choice was Babycham, a fresh, exciting and stylish brand. The 60s also saw the launch of the Babycham Babe beauty contest.

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    1970s

    Babycham had always been famous for its advertising and the brand was a regular on TV. In some of its best remembered adverts, actor Patrick Mower featured and in another of advertising’s most famous lines is heard for the first time.

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    1980s

    By the early 1980s Babycham was a brand enjoyed by two consumer groups; they were older consumers who had drunk Babycham since their late teens and early twenties, and young women to whom it was almost a rite of passage.

    The television adverts continued, but changed to animation. A cartoon was developed which brought the deer to life as a sprightly, energetic character who gives life and sparkle to a mediocre party. Another advert of the 80s saw the Babycham TV ad with probably the greatest recall. It depicts a dark and dingy bar in which time momentarily stands still as a cool looking patron offers the immortal line – “Hey, I’d love a Babycham”.

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    1990s

    A repositioning of the brand in 1993 was intended to appeal specifically to the younger market. The trademark deer disappeared and the original bottle increased in size and it changed shape and colour. This was supported with a new TV advert “Bubbles” which featured the music ‘Hey Big Spender’.

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    1996

    Babycham moved back to the trademark green bottle and the deer was reinstated as part of a massive relaunch campaign. This campaign focused on the original brand values of fun and sparkle. The campaign generated a lot of interest and media attention.

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    1997

    Saturday 21st June marked the return of one of the country’s most recollected and widely recognised beauty contests ever – the crowning of the Babycham Babe. A nationwide search for Babycham Babes was conducted via national press and radio. Twelve appropriately bubbly beauties were selected from hundreds of hopefuls to parade on the catwalk in London’s West End. The winner was Nell McAndrew.

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    1999

    As a new millennium approached, people all over the country were gearing up for a huge celebration and what better way to celebrate than with Babycham?

    A special edition Popping Cork style bottle was launched and sales rocketed. 

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    2000s

    Growing interest in Babycham prompted fashionable bars and clubs in London to begin requesting Babycham to attend parties and even sponsor events. The Babycham revival started in a handful of London’s coolest nightspots, where 70s retro had become the height of style. Browns, the member’s only nightclub in Covent Garden declared every Saturday night a ‘Babycham Night’. At the nearby Langley, guests rushed for the Barman’s latest creation the ‘Yeah Baby’ made from Babycham and Cassis, served in a trademark green bottle with a straw.

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    2001

    Shop, the people responsible for the Playboy Intimates line of lingerie teamed up with Babycham to produce a collection of underwear, outerwear and accessories. Working with leading British companies, Dunlop, Cutler and Gross, PPQ and Jolene; Shop reinforced the uniquely British appeal of Babycham. The retro appeal of Babycham prompted widespread media attention in the lifestyle and fashion press.

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    2002

    Babycham created a new market sector and is many ways a classic case study of entrepreneurial flair and opportunisms. Over 50 years on, it remained an extremely powerful brand. Babycham appealed to a younger, fashion-conscious audience and was still enjoyed by those consumers who remembered the iconic brand the first time around.

    Babycham continued to be served in original branded glasses in retro bars throughout the country, and at many A-list celebrity events from film premieres to fashion shows. Babycham was even featured in Elle Magazine’s Hot 100.

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    2003

    Babycham, the first alcoholic drink to be marketed to women, entered its 50th year and continued to sparkle. 2003 also saw Babycham's first year of sponsorship of the Babycham Funny Women Comedy Awards, fronted by the award winning stand up comedienne Jo Coulfield.

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    2010

    Babycham goes live on Facebook.

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    2011

    Sees the launch of a new range of shoes and bags http://www.babychamfootwear.co.uk

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    2013

    Babycham celebrates it Diamond Jubilee, just one year after the Queen! The 60th anniversary milestone is celebrated with an on pack promotion to collect special edition 60th anniversary classic Babycham glasses.

  • 1940s
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History

Babycham has always had sparkle. It has an unrivalled heritage and is always in fashion. If you missed out on the previous era don’t worry. It’s time to get in the groove with a funky blast from the past because Babycham, the original girlie drink is ready to party.