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



Phileas Fogg, brand, market, business, re-launch, consumers, innovation, snacks, enterprising, advertising, employees, scale, biscuits, life-cycle, preparing, United Biscuits.


This case study focuses on one of the UK's leading savoury snacks, Phileas Fogg.

The study analyses how United Biscuits (UB) reinvented Phileas Fogg.

The history of Phileas Fogg is steeped with innovation based on a small enterprising business with exciting packaging and advertising ideas.

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).

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.

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

Fired with enthusiasm from the success of the venture, these entrepreneurs saw the opportunity to exploit a gap in the market.

In particular, they realised that they could capitalise on a potential niche market by catering for adult tastes that were not adequately met in the crisps market of the time.

The process of improvement involves first finding out what consumers want, and then seeking to introduce changes to existing products to meet their needs.

All Phileas Fogg employees were and continue to be kept informed of new developments and opportunities to ensure that new ideas are shared across the company.

Learning outcomes:

As a result of carefully reading this case study, students should be able to:

  • understand the importance of the acquisition process, and explain how an enterprising small company can benefit from being part of a larger group
  • describe some of the economies of scale resulting from becoming part of a larger group e.g. access to finance, research and economies of distribution
  • identify the importance of innovation and enterprise in the change process and business development
  • understand the relevance of product development and marketing in preparing to re-launch a brand
  • appreciate the importance of employee loyalty in implementing business change
  • provide an example of the product life-cycle and new product development.

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


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