United Biscuits (UB) - reformulation case studies
“The reformulation of our well loved McVitie's brand was the latest in a long
line of projects that have delivered a significant health benefit for consumers
without any compromise on taste”
Alice Cadman, Head of Strategic Projects, United Biscuits
- The reformulation of the McVitie's range builds on the saturated fat reduction
programme that United Biscuits (UB) has had in place since 2005.
- The project has resulted in a 50% reduction in saturated fat on these iconic
- The changes took three years to implement.
- Key challenges to overcome included the need to implement significant factory
changes and the challenge of creating a new recipe that still met high consumer
- In all, this project has cost United Biscuits £6m to implement.
United Biscuits has made great progress with its health and nutrition programme
is continuing to make improvements to meet consumer needs. Saturated fat was
as a key target with changes first made on the snacks portfolio as part of a
programme starting in 2005.
All of UB's crisps and snacks have benefited from reductions in saturated fat,
maintaining the same great taste. The saturated fat content of Hula Hoops and
Skips has been reduced by 80% since 2005; Nik Naks, Wheat Crunchies and Discos
now contain 50% less saturated fat; and the saturated fat content of McCoy's
been reduced by 30% and will have a further reduction in 2009.
After achieving saturated fat reductions in the snacks, work started in
to discover how saturated fat reductions in biscuits could be achieved.
In November 2008, following three years of work from a multi-functional project
McVite's Digestives, McVite's Hob Nobs and McVite's Rich Tea were launched with
less saturated fat.
Extensive consumer testing was needed to find the optimum reduction of saturated
that could still offer the same great taste.
UB invested £6m in changes to ingredients and investment in manufacturing
as well as TV advertising to communicate to consumers the news about the
saturated fat of McVitie's biscuits.
UB continues to deliver product improvements in other areas of its portfolio
as part of its focus on health and nutrition. For instance: the go ahead! range
and snacks has grown significantly since its launch in 1996 and plays an
important part in
the healthier biscuit category, with products such as Raspberry and Cranberry
Slices and Strawberry Twist Wholemeal Bakes which are low in fat and a good
Last reviewed: 06 Jul 2009