Scottish brand Tunnock’s smashes £60 million sales barrier for first time

It is one of Scotland’s best known companies and its iconic teacakes are an apparent favourite of the Queen.

The man who invented the Tunnock's Teacake Boyd Tunnock with his Tunnock Teacakes at their headquarters in Uddingston. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
The man who invented the Tunnock's Teacake Boyd Tunnock with his Tunnock Teacakes at their headquarters in Uddingston. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Now iconic Scottish confectionary brand Tunnocks has unveiled record results - selling £60 million of products for the first time.

Sales of the rapidly growing Uddingston company’s products rose from £58.1 million to £61.4m, according to accounts filed with Companies House last week. Pre-tax profits in the year to the end of February also rocketed by almost £2 million to £5.7 million,

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The firm has grown significantly in recent years. Sir Boyd Tunnock, who runs the firm, said he was considering adding new products to Tunnock’s range.

Last month, Sir Boyd revealed that the Queen told him she preferred teacakes over caramel wafers when he went to Buckingham Palace to receive his knighthood.

Writing in the latest set of account for the firm, which over the past year increased its productin to 525m biscuits, Sir Boyd said: “For the last 130 years, Tunnock’s has always favoured quality over quantity and long term value over short term gains. Through careful and prudent management we have grown to become one of the leading biscuit brands in the UK.

“We plan to secure an exciting future by remaining true to the values established by the Tunnock family and continue to invest in our plant, people and products. Our new factory extension became operational during the year enabling us to increase the number of biscuits manufactured during the period to 525m million.”

He added: “We continue to review the possibility of extending the products within our range.”

Sir Boyd created the ­Tunnock’s teacake – marshmallow on a biscuit base coated in chocolate – in 1956. Meanwhile, the caramel wafer, made up of five layers of wafer, four layers of caramel and fully coated in chocolate, was created by Sir Boyd’s father Archie in 1952.

After his with the Queen, Sir Boyd joked: “She said she prefers the ­teacakes and I said I’ll send her some over. I prefer the caramel wafers but only because we make more money from them.”

The Tunnock’s story began on Uddingston’s Lorne Place, where company founder Thomas Tunnock set up his first bakery in 1890.

From here, the Tunnocks name and reputation began to spread throughout Glasgow for their bakery, tea room and travelling catering vans which could be rented for special occasions.

Coldplay’s Chris Martin is just one of the celebrities who has revealed his love of the products, stating that: “You can’t choose between the Caramel Wafer and the Tea Cake – they’re like Lennon and McCartney, you can’t separate them.”

Alex Salmond once reportedly offered media mogul Rupert Murdoch a Caramel Wafer during a visit to Bute House, while First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is said to have commissioned Tunnock’s to create her wedding day cake.

In October, the firm ploughed ahead with its ambitious expansion plans as it secured 10,000 square feet of space at Bellshill Industrial Estate.
Demand for the company’s products rocketed in overseas markets from the worldwide exposure secured when its teacakes played a starring role in the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The accounts stated that Tunnock’s employed 617 staff in the period, up from 577 the previous year. The highest paid director earned £169.251.