The repositioning of Hobnobs
A United Biscuits case study

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Page 1: Introduction

United Biscuits (UB) is an international foods business operating in 24 countries. The company manufactures, markets and distributes biscuits, savoury snacks and frozen and chilled foods, has leading market positions in the UK and Continental Europe and is building its presence in Asia. UB has 46 manufacturing sites world-wide and its products are available in over 90 countries.

UB's brands include household names in all its product categories and the company is also a major producer of own-label products in the UK. In the UK, UB owns McVitie's, KP, McVitie's Prepared Foods and Youngs, manufacturing well-known brands such as McVitie's Digestive, McVitie's Rich Tea, Jaffa Cakes, Go Ahead, Hobnobs, Penguin, Hula Hoops, Skips, McCoy's, KP Nuts, San Marco pizzas, McVitie's desserts, the Ross Chip Shop range and Linda McCartney's meat-free products. McVitie's Group purchased BN (Biscuiterie Nantaise) in France during 1997 and has recently acquired Delacre.

McVitie's is the UK's leading biscuit baker, manufacturing over 60 biscuit brands, including Hobnobs and a range of traditional and continental cakes. KP is UB's savoury snacks business, consisting of four business units (Snacks, Crisps, Nuts, Derwent Valley Foods). McVitie's Prepared Foods consists of three business units - Pizzas, Desserts and Vegetarian. Youngs is UB's seafood business. UB has a flexible approach to brand development, building on strong acquired brands and existing portfolio brands as well as developing new brands capable of being used across national boundaries. The Hobnobs repositioning story is a prime example of the way in which UB nurtures and develops its existing brands to ensure that they are best placed in their respective markets.

United Biscuits | The repositioning of Hobnobs