Lyle's Golden Syrup has been named as Britain's oldest brand, with its green and gold packaging having remained almost unchanged since 1885. The Guinness Book of Records gave the breakfast and teatime sweetener, whose tins bear the image of a lion and a biblical quotation, the prized honour.
The syrup came into being as a by-product of sugar refined by Scottish businessman Abram Lyle in London. It was first stored in tins in 1885 - a million tins are now produced monthly.
The publisher of the Guinness Book of Records said the title - which will not be officially conferred until next year's publication - was awarded after extensive research.
Brand experts said the late 19th Century was a period of huge growth for packaged goods and that many products conceived at that time are still widely consumed today. The classic tins, whose design has changed little in 120 years, carry the biblical inscription "out of the strong came forth sweetness".
Lyle's syrup was first consumed by workers at the firm's factory in east London and by local residents. The product, owned by sugar firm Tate & Lyle, is now sold as far afield as Australia and China in a range of different formats and flavours.
Lyle's Golden Syrup is a familiar sight in family kitchens, with research showing that more than 85% of people immediately recognise it. Tate & Lyle said it believed that its original design and packaging had helped it to gain iconic status.
"Its image of the lion and the bees and the biblical quotation testify to a peculiarly Victorian mix of moralism, industrial drive and budding concern for social welfare," said Dr Kate Thomas, a Victorian expert at Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia.