An oral historical past of Percy Pig
As M&S’ famous character turns 30, we speak to his original creators and the brand team about how he went from a humble sweet to a cultural institution
Percy Pig™ began life back in 1992 as a humble but delicious piggy-shaped sweet. Today, this is one of M&S Food’s most valuable assets, with 20 million packs reportedly sold every year. The character is no longer just sold in sweet bags now either – over the years he’s appeared on everything from dessert sauces and juice cartons through to pyjamas and bedding.
In recent years, Percy has also grown into a powerhouse brand in his own right. In 2020 he made his first appearance on TikTok, where his antics amassed millions of views; and at Christmas last year he came to life on-screen for his TV debut as the star of M&S’ Christmas Food ad – voiced by none other than actor Tom Holland.
As Percy prepares to hit the big 3-0, we speak to former M&S product developer, Julia Catton; illustrator Jane Massey, who created the original Percy Pig character and product range; and Meaghan Hempenstall, former Percy Pig brand marketing manager (who is now head of brand and marketing for the M&S masterbrand). Together, they discuss how everyone’s favourite pig transcended his checkout treat status to become a cultural phenomenon.
Top: Percy Pig became the face of the M&S Food Christmas ad last year; Above: promotion for his 30th birthday in 2022