Exports case study: pladis

pladis is the proud steward of over 300 years of family baking and confectionery experience and is one of the fastest growing companies in the sector with annual revenues of £2.2 billion. As a responsible and global business, delivering the highest quality products and exceptional service, pladis' products reach more than 4 billion people across the world.

pladisOpen the kitchen cupboard in almost any home in the UK, and you're likely to find a packet of McVitie's biscuits

Last year we sold almost 300m packets of biscuits in Britain – the equivalent of four packets for every man, woman and child. And it doesn't stop there. Our portfolio includes household favourites go ahead!, Carr's and Jacob's, as well as the latest addition to our family, Flipz.

For hundreds of years we've combined tradition and heritage with innovation and quality. This rich 125-year history has fashioned McVitie's into a treasured and iconic brand, inextricably tying us to British culture.

Britain is one of pladis' central manufacturing and export hubs, and the biscuits and snacks we export from the UK reach 112 countries in all corners of the world, from Nigeria and Middle East, to the U.S. and Australia, so that consumers everywhere can enjoy our brands as much as the British public do. Our Harlesden manufacturing hub in West London – the biggest biscuit factory in Europe – bakes 125,000 tonnes of biscuit and snacks every year, and around one sixth, or 20,000 tonnes, is currently exported, with the original McVitie's Digestive one of the most popular biscuits in homes around the world.

British foods are an icon for excellence and each of us are proud of the role we play in that. In 2018, McVitie's products achieved double-digit growth in both volume and value in the Middle East, with 42% growth in Saudi Arabia, while the Greater China region grew by 69%. This was driven by new products, with the core original and chocolate ranges also performing strongly. Another standout success was Australia, with packaging format changes from roll-wrap to flow-wrap, as well as expansion in our McVitie's range beyond the supermarket and into petrol and convenience stores.

However, we know we can keep doing more. Our aim going forward is to grow and develop the McVitie's brand even further around the world. To achieve this, we have a newly-formed Global McVitie's Marketing team, based in our head office in west London.

The team is now exploring opportunities with both existing customers and new routes to market. For example, in the U.S. we have stopped using a third-party distributor and consolidated the McVitie's volume into our existing pladis North American warehouse facility. This currently services U.S. customers with DeMet's and GODIVA products, and will allow us to reach a wider customer base across the U.S., drive further growth, and improve our transport and distribution footprint.

In 2019, we will also be entering the South American market for the first time, by building locally and pulling through distributor models.

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Last reviewed: 22 Mar 2019