The history of United Biscuits dates back to 1948, when 2 family businesses merged to form one of the largest biscuit manufacturers in the world. The two businesses, McVitie & Price and McFarlane Lang, were originally from Scotland.
In 1960, the company began its expansion by acquiring MacDonald’s Biscuits and Crawford’s Biscuits. Over the years, the company continued its acquisition of major manufacturers in the cookie industry. In 1967, it purchased Meredith and Drew Company, the makers of crisps in the UK. The following year, Kenyon Son & Craven was purchased by the company. They were one of the well known nut manufacturers at the time. The business expanded to the U.S. by the acquisition of Keebler Company, makers of crackers and cookies in 1974. In 1982, United Biscuits acquired Terry’s of York, but later sold it to Kraft. In 1988, Ross Young purchased 60% interest of the company. Verkade in Netherlands became a brand of UB with its acquisition in 1990. At the time, it was one of the leading manufacturers of confectionery and biscuits.
The company further expanded its business to Italy with the acquisition of a division of Smith’s Snackfood Company. Phileas Fogg brand also became a part of UB when it bought parent company Derwent Valley Foods. Other companies acquired during this period included Gyori Keksz of Hungary and Oxford Biscuits of Denmark. By 1994, the company had 70% investment in Fazer Biscuits in Finland, and 90% investment in San in Poland. It also acquired Nibb-It Snacks the same year.
The company’s expansion to Australia started with the acquisition of Original Pretzel Company. In 1997, it purchased Biscuiterie Nantaise, a division of PepsiCo. By this time, the company was seeing a net profit of £241 million in the business. In 1999, UB purchased Stollwerck, thereby expanding its business to Germany. In 2004, it opened a new company in Ireland and named it UB Snackfoods Ireland Ltd. It reached India in 2009 when the company purchased a factory and started manufacturing biscuits locally. The McVitie’s division was asked to supply a chocolate biscuit cake for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Company headquarters: Hayes, Middlesex, United Kingdom
Annual revenue: £1,142.3 million
Geography: USA, UK, Greece, Italy, Australia, Nigeria, Middle East, India, Portugal, Sweden
Demography: Natural and Organic
McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes
Fruit & Form