Bird’s Custard powder invented because of egg allergy!

Today I thought I’d share a bit of food fact fun. Did you know that Bird’s Custard, first invented way back in 1837 by Alfred Bird, came about because his wife could not eat the traditional custard which was made with eggs because she had an egg allergy? Useless fact number one, you never know when that might come up at the pub quiz. Over the years the company has been taken over a few times and is now owned by Kraft Foods.
Bird's Custard is egg free
It would seem allergies are not so new, and innovative freefrom foods were being invented as far back as the nineteenth century. Go Alfred! We use Bird’s custard with dairy free milk and it works brilliantly. People like Alfred, and all the clever inventors who entered the Freefrom Food Awards this year are transforming the lives of those with allergies.

Custard powder is made from corn flour or corn starch which thickens when mixed with milk and heated.

Ingredients: Cornflour, Salt, Colour (Annatto), Flavouring. Whenever I see ingredients like flavouring, spices or some other vague umbrella term alarm bells ring. What kind of flavouring? From the taste of custard I’d say it’s probably vanilla.

(Ed. Dec 2012) Premier Foods have finally responded, some many months after contacting them to confirm the flavouring is almond, so if you have an almond allergy perhaps steer clear of this product. I have a peanut allergy but can eat this custard without any problems. Interestingly it isn’t labelled as containing nuts, even though almond is considered a nut. I’ve askd them to clarify whether the flavouring would in fact contain any almond protein or actually almond, or just be an artificial flavour. More to follow.

I believe that this custard, as well as being egg free, is also dairy, wheat and gluten free. I’m waiting to hear back from Kraft about this, though I have heard that they are very good at labelling their foods.

Dietary Information: Suitable for Vegetarians, Free From Artificial Colours.

The perfect comfort, feel good food. It means people with egg and dairy allergy or intolerance need not miss out on the custard with their crumble. As long as it’s made with plant milk that is.

Any custard lovers out there?

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.


  1. richard turner says:


    I think you’ll find that it is actually owned by Premier Foods so that might help you get a reply.

    I am on a gluten free diet and have no issues eating Bird’s Custard, although will have to double check whether it is in the food and Drink Directory this year

  2. So excited thought I’d never get to have Nanaimo bars again!

  3. Ness Rose says:

    But sadly my carton says it is produced in a factory which handles milk, gluten and soya. 🙁

  4. Ness Rose says:

    So after reading above, I looked at the cartons in the supermarket for birds eye custard. They were exactly the same ingredients and packaging as the one i had but no warning about the milk, gluten, soya in the factory. I bought it. I phoned up the helpline on the carton, gave them the barcodes of both products. They went away and checked something. They then told me to throw the one with warning away and not use it (I’d explained my child has a milk allergy) but said I could use the one with no warnings on as they had moved factories. Yay!

  5. John Trott says:

    QUOTE ” . . . is also dairy, wheat and gluten free. I’m waiting to hear back from KRAFT about this . . . ”
    Perhaps that should be corrected. It seems agreed that Kraft sold the Birds brand to Premier Foods in late 2004.
    Also, neither I nor anyone I know believes that there are almonds in Birds Custard. We definitely cannot identify the taste as almond related. However, vanilla seems highly likely.

  6. Here are the latest ingredient from the regular custard powder versus the low-fat variety at the above link Cornflour, Salt, Colour, Annatto, Flavouring. The source is Wegmen’s grocery store chain:

  7. Nancy Hughes says:

    I have egg allergies , and all nuts, latex allergies (which is a lot of other foods that I can’t eat) plus I am celiac. I live on a very limited diet. Please help me with any input.
    Nancy Hughes

    • I know it’s tough. I have lots of allergies too and I have to turn it around in my head and focus on all the foods I can eat. It is tough cooking most meals from scratch but I do batchs and freeze portions for when I’m too tired to cook. It does get easier. And you will be healthier as a result of cutting out the junk food. Keep on reading this blog and you will hopefully get tips to help you.

      • Nancy Hughes says:

        Yes I do eat healthy and I alway have . We are what we eat . I am not a junk food eater. I live alone and that is what I do. Cook large portions of chicken or beef with fresh veggies . Not to often do I eat breads, rice or potatoes. I freeze them in small one meal portions for me to eat as needed for at work and home. I am 62 yrs of age I work out and keep fit . Peoples guess me as 45-50

        • Have you tried Artisan bread? Very natural and ilumi pouch meals? Also Venice bakery pizza bases and flatbreads. Just made a vat of me friendly soup and frozen loads today. Result


  1. […] pharmacist by trade, he invented custard powder in 1837. Seven years later it was a national sensation. Alfred’s wife was also allergic to […]

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