Branding news: UB in revamp for Christmas

United Biscuits has revamped the Christmas packaging across its key product lines, including its KP, McVitie's and Mini Cheddars brands.

The work, which has been handled by branding agency Ziggurat, is intended to boost sales in the crucial seasonal snacks market.

The activity will include a redesign of the McVitie's Christmas tin - its first overhaul in six years.

The product is normally sold at Christmas, but United Biscuits wants to expand its popularity beyond the festive period, to boost sales on other gift occasions such as Easter and birthdays.

The new-look tins, which launch next month, will feature depictions of episodes from the brand's history to emphasise its heritage, quality and traditions.

Ziggurat will also revamp the Christmas packs for United Biscuits' KP Nuts brand and its Mini Cheddars range.

The packaging for Mini Cheddars, which was last altered in 2001, will highlight the brand's latest flavours, including Branston Pickle and Sweet Chilli.

The Christmas snacks market is highly competitive. In 2004, United Biscuits claimed a 16% share of the seasonal snack category and the biggest share of the seasonal markets for branded biscuits and nuts.

Last year, the seasonal biscuit market grew 5.7% compared with Christmas 2003, while that for seasonal snacks grew by 0.9%.

Growth in both categories has been driven by consumer demand for 'on-the-go' food and healthy snack options.

McVitie's is facing increased competition from Cadbury, which launched its own jaffa cakes range this summer.

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