Scottish biscuit company McVitie’s has been named as one of the most trusted and popular brands in the UK.
The snack food producer, founded in Edinburgh by Robert McVitie in 1830, has gained international fame for its digestive biscuits, Jaffa cakes and Penguin bars.
Consumer group Kantar Worldpanel named McVitie’s as the fifth most popular brand bought by consumers, being picked up an average of 12.7 times a year by 87.6 per cent of the population.
Other big names which made the top ten included Walburtons, Walkers and Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.
The consumer group said that in the tough economic climate, shoppers are increasingly likely to stick to buying the brands and foods they know and trust.
McVitie’s began trading as a bakery on Rose Street, Edinburgh, before expanding to St Andrews Biscuit Works factory in the Gorgie district in 1888.
Biscuit sales are worth £244 million a year in Scotland, with volume an average of 1.9 per cent more than the UK. The average Scottish shopper is likely to spend £87 per year on biscuits, on 48 trips to the shops.
More than 71 million packets of chocolate digestives are eaten in the UK each year – totalling an astounding 52 biscuits munched per second.
Consumers reacted with outrage when the popular biscuit’s recipe was tweaked earlier this year to include three per cent more chocolate, and a more even topping.
Shoppers complained that the biscuit, which is the UK’s most popular with a retail value of £82.8m, was less crunchy and contained slightly more sugar, fat and saturated fat than the original formulation.
The brand also hit the headlines earlier this month when it was revealed that supermarket customers frequently confused copycat packaging from supermarket Aldi’s Oaties biscuits for McVitie’s Hob Nobs.
Tim Kidd, managing director UK, Ireland and USA at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “This is a stellar performance by UK brands with six of the top 10 being strong British names. Similarly, some of this year’s fastest risers, such as Cathedral City and Aunt Bessie, are quintessentially British and even the most popular global brands in the UK have Anglo-Saxon roots.
“Global brands will need to recognise ‘local is winning’ and ensure they adapt their products to meet local demands.”
McVitie’s success comes as the Scottish food and drink export industry was revealed to be worth £5.31 billion during 2012, according to Scottish Development International.
The USA took over from France as the top importer of Scottish goods, followed by Singapore. It is the first time an Asian country has featured in the top three, and is due to burgeoning whisky imports worth £339m.
Anne MacColl, chief executive of Scottish Development International, said: “The intelligence coming from our overseas field teams tells us that the international appetite for Scottish produce remains very strong and we are continuing to see demand from international suppliers.”