UK: United Biscuits aims to grow McVitie's into "global mega brand"

By Katy Askew | 3 February 2014

UBs new McVities ad campaign

UB's new McVities ad campaign

United Biscuits wants to establish McVitie's as a GBP500m (US$820m) "global mega brand" by 2017, CEO Martin Glenn has said.

The UK-based snacks group plans to unify its stable of well-known UK biscuit and cracker brands under two "master brands" - McVitie's and Jacob's - in a bid to accelerate growth in the UK and overseas.

Glenn said United Biscuits wanted to position McVitie's as one of the leading "British brands".

"Foremost amongst our brands is McVitie's and we want to establish McVitie's as one of the very top British brands at home and abroad. We talk about [and] see it as a global mega brand and we think in three years time this could be a half a billion pound brand both in the UK and across the globe," he said.

The first phase of the strategy will see the company add McVitie's branding to its other sweet biscuits, including Jaffa Cakes and Digestives. "We were fragmenting our effort between too many brands," Glenn explained.

Today, United Biscuits will launch its GBP12m "sweeeet" advertising campaign, bringing the different elements of its sweet biscuit portfolio under the McVitie's umbrella.

According to Glenn, management is focused on taking United Biscuits "to the next stage of development".

"That is about increasing our strong leadership position in the UK but - as importantly - to expand and to accelerate what is a very strong international success story. We hope the international business will account for 20% of our sales in three years time," he revealed.

Since 2006, United Biscuits has tripled its overseas sales. Strengthening the branding and focusing more tightly on the McVitie's brand will enable it to accelerate growth further, management suggested.

The company will - at a later date - move to unify its savoury cracker offering, which includes brands such as Mini Cheddars and Cars, under the Jacob's brand. United Biscuits is yet to establish a timetable for that move, a spokesperson for the group told just-food.

Click here for just-food's interview with United Biscuits' UK MD Jon Eggleton.

Click here for Katy Askew's take on the recent speculation around the future ownership of United Biscuits.

Sectors: Advertising & labelling, Bakery, Snacks

Companies: United Biscuits

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