I recently bought a Worcestershire sauce from Costco called Lea & Perrins. They claim to be the authentic version of Worcestershire sauce. However I have read comments online that indicate that it is a knockoff or a fake version of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce from the UK.

Within the comments most people say that the difference between the two is that the US version uses distilled white vinegar as the main ingredient whereas the UK version uses distilled malt vinegar. Is there really a difference between the two?

  • See cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/25889/…
    – TFD
    Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 7:41
  • I checked out that article but it doesn't make any mention of any differences between malt and white vinegar in the sauce itself.
    – yuritsuki
    Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 7:46
  • Given that Lea and Perrin's are owned by Heinz I would have thought that Costco would be unlikely to risk a full on visit by Heinz product lawyers by selling a knockoff.
    – user23614
    Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 9:59
  • @user23614 I think the wuestioner said it was Lea and Perrins, not a knock off.
    – Escoce
    Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 15:39
  • 6
    It doesn't matter if it's the same name, as brands will make the same products according to different recipes for different markets. Hellman mayonnaise is significantly more vinegary in the UK than the US, for example.
    – Broklynite
    Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 21:48

5 Answers 5


There is some difference between the flavor, but seeing as there are so many other predominant flavors in Worcestershire sauce and that fact that you're (hopefully) not drinking it straight, it's fairly insignificant. It's very common for one product produced in different countries to have a range of manufacturing differences, sometimes arbitrary, sometimes to suit the local palate, and sometimes because of costs, hence people calling American Lea & Perrins a "knockoff."

I've had both, and can assure you that once you've mixed it into a casserole or marinade you won't really miss anything. If you're striving for needlessly authentic British flavor you could always add a little malt vinegar to whatever you're cooking!


Lea and Perrins in the tan label is the US recipe its not "fake" but its not the same as the UK recipe. It is authorized.

  • Can you please add a reference to back this up, so that we know that it actually is, and not something you heard?
    – user34961
    Commented Sep 24, 2017 at 19:23
  • 1
    This is an ad from Tesco in the UK listing the ingredients Lea and Perrins in the UK tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/250179532
    – s.voss
    Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 2:08
  • 1
    This is an ad from a Lea and Perrins ingredients in the US walmart.com/ip/…
    – s.voss
    Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 2:09
  • Notice the difference in ingredients and the color of the label. The US lea and perrins has a tan label. The UK lea and perrins has an orange label.
    – s.voss
    Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 2:10
  • 3
    I think that it is, but it would be helpful to edit that information into your post :)
    – Erica
    Commented Nov 9, 2018 at 15:35

As a longterm US resident from Britain and Africa I personally find the official US version significantly sweeter. In fact I prefer a store brand knock off version which has less sugar.


Worcestershire sauce in the uk and USA are both owned by Heinz. The original sauce was invented in the uk by pharmacists Mr Lea and Mr Perrins. By late 19th Century sales in USA became so large mr Lea and mr perrins decided to manufacture in the USA. The first factory was on Broadway in New York before moving to New Jersey, over the years the recipes have diverged but are essentially the same.


Worchestershire sauce. Was invented by George Washington Carver. That basic recipe is still used. It is sold as a dry powder today. Shipped in 1 ton box's. to the makers. World wide. Or made there in Country. Once they have it. They may add as they wish to improve the flavor. Still call it Worcherstershire sauce as that is the base. So some different types can be found. Fixed for local taste. But still labeled as such.

  • As it was first sold in 1838 how did he invent it before he was born?
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 16:15
  • Worcestershire sauce was first traded by John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins /Lea & Perrins) in 1837, but there were previous sauces with the same base of fermented anchovies. Worcestershire sauce is not a trademark and isn't protected so anyone can make a sauce an use that name.
    – roetnig
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 18:31
  • 7
    You might be thinking of peanut butter, which is often misattributed to Mr. Carver. It's frequently mistaken for Worcestershire sauce, but you can easily tell them apart if you know what to look for. A simple test is to place an open container in front of a dog. If the dog is able to eat the contents directly from the container, it's most likely peanut butter, but it could also be mayonnaise or marshmallow cream. If the dog has to spill the contents before lapping it off the floor, then you likely have something along the lines of Worcestershire sauce, ginger ale, or balsamic vinegar.
    – mrog
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 19:44

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