During a networking meeting with the wonderful women we used vintage Babycham glasses to drink champagne with. We had a discussion that none of us had ever tried Babycham, nor knew what the drink actually was.
I was shopping today, and decided to pick some up. I got 4 bottles for £2.75, and it is 6%. Babycham is described as a 'sparkling perry' and says it 'contains sugars and sweetner' and 'contains sulphates'. Considering these ingredients are advertised quite largely on the front of the box I was a little confused!
I had a bottle and was surprised at how little it tastes of alcohol. It reminded me of a fizzy apple drink (that will remain nameless!).
I decided to find out a little more about it.
According to the Babycham website, it was in the 1940s that the Showering brothers ran a cider brewery and mineral water business. One of the brothers Francis began experimenting with ways to improve cider, but eventually settled on using perry (from perry pairs). He developed a clear sparkling pear juice.
In the 1950s the drink was sold as Champagne de la poire. The 'perry' drink was entered into a lot of competitions and won first prize each time. It earned the nickname 'baby champ'.
Babycham was launched in 1953. Babycham say that it was possibly the most significant innovation in the drinks industry. It was the first product to be aimed at women, and it was around this time the deer became linked with Babycham.
It was the first ever alcoholic drinks brand to advertise itself on commerical television. The perry champagne, along with the champagne style glasses allowed women to have aspirational values.
During the 60s Babycham ran Babycham Babe beauty contests.
Babycham began to lose touch with its consumer in the 1970s, as the roles and aspirations of women changed. As the 1980s went on, and more and more varied alcoholic drinks hit the market, Babycham struggled to compete.
In the 1990s, still trying to appeal to the female market, Babycham lost the deer and rebranded itself with a new bottle design. However in 1996 the deer returned and the original bottle design was reinstated.
Over the last decade Babycham has reclaimed some of its retro cool. Babysham has become a brand, with a range of clothing and accessories. In 2003 Babycham celebrated its 50th birthday, as the first drink to be marketed towards women.