Henry Jones had worked from the age of 12 for Hobart jam manufacturer George Peacock before starting H Jones & Company in 1891. Jam-making continued in the Hunter Street premises, which had been set up by Peacock in 1869. In 1895 the company purchased a building in Melbourne – the land mark Jam Factory. Incorporated as Henry Jones IXL (“I excel in everything I do”) in 1903, the company became a significant Australian food processor.
The Jam Factory in Melbourne’s Chapel Street, Prahran continued operations until 1970, when manufacturing was moved to Port Melbourne. The original Hobart premises in Hunter Street are now The Henry Jones Hotel.
Like many iconic Australian brands, IXL has seen many changes of ownership since the 1970s. The company was merged with pastoral company Elder Smith Goldsborough Mort in 1974 to form Elders IXL, then Australia’s largest company, led by larger-than-life personality John Elliott. Through the following turbulent years of corporate raids, take-over bids and company restructures, Henry Jones IXL continued to produce Australia’s most popular jams and spreads.
In 1989, the company fell into foreign hands when it was bought by J M Smucker Co., American jam manufacturers and owners of many US food brands. In 2004, fruit and vegetable processor SPC Ardmona proudly trumpeted that it had acquired IXL, returning it to Australian hands. However, the following year SPC Ardmona was itself acquired by Coca Cola Amatil.