An enterprising approach to a marketing re-launch
A United Biscuits case study

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Page 2: Part of a larger group - United Biscuits (UB)

The history of Phileas Fogg is steeped with innovation based on a small enterprising business with exciting packaging and advertising ideas. Today, like many other organisations in the food industry, Phileas Fogg is part of a much larger group: UB, a multi-national company. It was originally founded in 1948 following the merger of two Scottish family businesses: McVitie & Price and McFarlane Lang, and now has the number 1 biscuit brand in the UK, Netherlands & Spain as well as the number 1 nut brand (KP). UB also has strong brands in France, Belgium, Ireland and Portugal, and is the second largest crisp manufacturer in the UK.

It makes good commercial sense for small businesses like Phileas Fogg to join larger organisations like UB. As part of UB, Phileas Fogg benefits from various commercial economies of scale that can come from marketing, selling and distributing products on a larger scale.

UB has grown through both organic growth and acquisition, a process that has involved taking over and merging with other companies to become the leading manufacturer and marketer of biscuits and snack foods that it is today.

The two main UK divisions of UB are:

  • McVitie's

'The first choice for biscuits' including well known favourites such as Jaffa Cakes, Penguin, Hobnobs, Digestives and Rich Tea.

  • KP

One of the UK's largest manufacturers of savoury snacks including Hula Hoops, Skips, KP Nuts and Phileas Fogg.

Phileas Fogg has benefited from being part of a multi-national company. Higher levels of funding are available for developing the brand and distribution costs are lower. There are improved opportunities for shared projects involving research, advertising and promotion. The Phileas Fogg business has also been able to benefit from expertise available elsewhere within the group.

The challenge facing Phileas Fogg, however, was how to retain its innovative culture and individuality within a much larger organisation.

United Biscuits | An enterprising approach to a marketing re-launch