CAREERS: Company CV - United Biscuits

United Biscuits (UB) is a leading manufacturer of biscuits and snacks in the UK and Europe. It is the biscuit production market leader in the UK, the Netherlands and Spain, and number two in France and Portugal. Its KP Snacks business is number two in the UK in terms of sales.

UB brands include McVitie's, Penguin, Go Ahead!, Hula Hoops, Mini Cheddars, Skips, Phileas Fogg, KP Nuts and McCoy's.

In 2002, its combined branded and retailer-branded biscuit sales accounted for about 27% of the UK biscuit market. On the snacks side, UB has market shares of 20% in the packaged nuts market and 15% in the savoury snacks and crisps market.

The company was formed in 1948 from the merger of two Scottish family businesses, McVitie & Price and McFarlane Lang.

UB was bought out in April 2000 by Finalrealm, a consortium of financial investors and Nabisco Holdings. As part of the deal, UB acquired Nabisco's European businesses. Following the deal, UB reverted to plc status.

In April this year, KP Snacks signed a deal worth £500,000 to sponsor ITV show Stars in their Eyes: Kids 2003. The work promoted the Skips snack brand and targeted mums watching with their kids.

In June, KP Snacks introduced a 150g sharing tub for its Mini Cheddars range. The packaging, designed by Ziggurat, featured illustrations suggesting sharing moments and the line 'Share us'.

A month later, McVitie's split its £400m brand portfolio into two units and created two board-level marketing roles to oversee them.

Marketing director Garry Biggs, previously responsible for the entire McVitie's portfolio, became commercial director for McVitie's core brands, worth more than £250m. KP Snacks marketer Claire Hodge took over as commercial director for the remaining brands, including Jaffa Cakes, Penguin and Go Ahead!, collectively worth more than £150m.

In August, KP Snacks launched a range of premium peanuts, which included Cracked Black Pepper, Vine-ripened Tomato and Mild Indian Spice variants.

September saw KP Snacks add two flavours to its Mini Cheddars Crinkly range. Totally Cheesy and Wow!ster Sauce flavours were introduced as part of a relaunch.

Later that month, KP Snacks' The Real McCoys reintroduced its limited-edition Steak & Ale crisp flavour through a link-up with the John Smith's beer brand.

The flavour was originally launched in April 2003 and sold out significantly quicker than KP had anticipated. The brand was backed by TV ads and sampled at Rugby World Cup warm-up games.

In October, Jon Eggleton, a former Bulmers group marketing director, was appointed UB marketing director, reporting to managing director Will Carter.

Turnover £1,308.3m

Employees 11,500

(Figures for the year to December 28 2002)

Advertising agency


Media agency

Starcom Motive

New media agency

XM London

Annual advertising spend

(year to September 2003)

TV £7,594,483

Outdoor £3,188,966

Press £514,264

Radio £655,731

Total £11,953,444

Source: ACNielsen MMS

Top marketer

Jon Eggleton, marketing director

UK headquarters

Hayes Park, Hayes End Road, Hayes, Middlesex UB4 8EE

Tel: 020 8234 5000

Fax: 020 8734 5555

Web site:


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