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Thomas Tunnock Limited
Family company
Genre Bakers
Headquarters Uddingston, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Products Cakes, biscuits
Number of employees
Website www.tunnocks.co.uk

Thomas Tunnock Limited, commonly known as Tunnock's, is a family baker based in Uddingston, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

The company was formed by Thomas Tunnock (b.1865) as Tunnock's in 1890, when he purchased a baker's shop in Lorne Place, Uddingston.[1] The company expanded in the 1950s, and it was at this time that the core products were introduced to the lines. It is currently headed by Boyd Tunnock C.B.E., grandson of Thomas.[2] In 2013 a joint report by Family Business United and Close Brothers Asset Management named it as the 20th oldest family firm in Scotland still in operation.[3]


Two-and-a-half Tunnock's Teacakes

The Tunnock's Teacake is a sweet food popular in the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man. They are often served with a cup of tea or coffee.

The product consists of a small round shortbread biscuit covered with a dome of Italian meringue, a whipped egg white concoction similar to marshmallow.[2] This is then encased in a thin layer of milk or dark chocolate and wrapped in a red and silver foil paper for the more popular milk chocolate variety, with blue, black, and gold wrapping for the dark.

A Tunnock's Teacake bears no relation to a teacake, a sweet roll with dried fruit added to the mix, which is usually served toasted and buttered.

Retired RAF bomber pilot Tony Cunnane told of how Tunnock's Teacakes became a favourite ration snack of the V bomber nuclear deterrent flight crews based at RAF Gaydon, especially after discovering that they expanded at high altitude. This ended after one was left unwrapped and exploded on the instrument panel.[4]

Caramel Wafers[edit]

A milk chocolate Tunnock's Caramel Wafer
A Caramel Wafer split

The Tunnock's Caramel Wafer, correctly known as the Tunnock's Milk Chocolate Coated Caramel Wafer Biscuit, is a bar consisting of five layers of wafer, interspersed with 4 layers of caramel. The bar is coated in chocolate, made from cocoa and milk solids. The wafers are wrapped in red and gold coloured foil. Dark chocolate wafers, wrapped blue and gold, are also available.

In many small outlets they are available separately. The wrappers of the milk chocolate version bear the wording "more than 5,000,000 of these biscuits made and sold every week".[5]

St. Andrews University has a Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Appreciation Society, founded in 1982.[6]

Other products[edit]

Tunnock's Snowballs and Caramel Logs

The other products in Tunnock's lines are largely based on the core products. The Caramel Log is similar to the Caramel Wafer, but with the addition of roasted coconut to the outside of the bar. Wafer Creams and Florida Orange have chocolate and orange flavoured cream in place of the caramel.

A Snowball is similar to the Tea Cake, with the addition of grated coconut to the exterior of a soft chocolate shell but with no biscuit base.

Despite pressure to do so, Tunnock's does not make any own brand biscuits for supermarkets.[2]

Public image[edit]

The Tunnock's Boy

Since 2005, Tunnock's has sponsored The Tour of Mull, an annual car rally held on the Isle of Mull.[7]

The face of the Tunnock's Boy appears on nearly all Tunnock's products.

Factory tours have become so popular that the firm keeps a year-long waiting list to manage demand.[6]

In early 2012 Boyd Tunnock spoke out against Scottish independence.[8][9] He did so again in August 2014 with other companies opposed to Independence.[10]

In the Glasgow commonwealth game opening ceremony on July 23, 2014 the teacakes took centre stage as dancers dressed in a teacake danced around the main performers near the start of the show.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Made in Scotland, Carol Foreman, ISBN 978-1-84158-725-7
  2. ^ a b c Robert Lea (14 April 2010). "The Willy Wonka of Tannochside: Tunnock’s MD, Boyd Tunnock". The Times. Archived from the original on 24 April 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  3. ^ Close Brothers Asset Management: John White & Son named Scotland’s longest established family business after almost 300 years of service. 1 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Yorkshire pilot’s Cold War secret revealed". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "Great British biscuits to beat the Oreo Invasion". The Daily Mirror. 6 May 2008. Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Sweettooth fans swamp Tunnock's tours". Scotland On Sunday. The Scotsman. Archived from the original on 24 April 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2008. 
  7. ^ "Tunnock's Tour of Mull" 2300club.org. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  8. ^ "Tunnock’s view on referendum doesn’t taste so sweet for Alex Salmond - Politics - Scotsman.com". The Scotsman. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "Boyd Tunnock: I'm not afraid to say I'm a Unionist". Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  10. ^ "Scots food industry chiefs Audrey Baxter & Boyd Tunnock among group of 120 business leaders to reject independence - Daily Record". dailyrecord. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 

External links[edit]