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Industry Confectionery
Founded Edinburgh, Scotland (1830 (1830))
Founder Robert McVitie
Headquarters United Kingdom
Parent United Biscuits

McVitie's is a British snack food brand owned by United Biscuits. The name derives from the original Scottish biscuit maker, McVitie & Price, Ltd., established in 1830 on Rose Street in Edinburgh, Scotland. The company moved to various sites in the city before completing the St. Andrews Biscuit Works factory on Robertson Avenue in the Gorgie district in 1888.[1] The company also operates two large manufacturing plants south of the border in Levenshulme, Manchester / Heaton Chapel, Stockport and Harlesden, London.


McVitie's factory in Manchester and Stockport which produces over 2,000 Jaffa Cakes a minute.[2]

Though the original 1830 Edinburgh factory burned down in 1894, it was rebuilt the same year and remained operative until 1969, when production ceased and operations were transferred to English sites. McVitie & Price expanded to a new factory in Harlesden in 1910 and to Manchester in 1917. The firm acquired Edinburgh bakery Simon Henderson & Sons in 1922.[1] McVitie & Price merged with another Scottish family bakery, Macfarlane, Lang & Co., Ltd, in 1948 to become United Biscuits Group.[3]

McVitie's brand products are now manufactured in five United Kingdom factories: the two former McVitie & Price factories in Harlesden and Manchester, a former Macfarlane, Laing & Co. factory named Victoria Biscuit Works in Glasgow, a former Carr's factory named The Biscuit Works established 1831 in Carlisle, and the McVitie’s Cake Co. factory (formerly Riley's Toffee Works) in Halifax.[4]

McVitie & Price's first major biscuit was the McVitie's Digestive, the first ever digestive biscuit, created by young new employee Alexander Grant in 1892.[5] The biscuit was given its name because it was thought that its high baking soda content served as an aid to food digestion.[5]

Grant was later to become head of the concern, during which time he was in 1923 the chief benefactor of the then-new National Library of Scotland. Grant then donated another substantial sum in 1928 when the National Library was expanded to occupy the Sheriff Court buildings on George IV Bridge.[6]

The McVitie's Chocolate Homewheat Digestive was created in 1925. Over 71 million packets of McVitie's chocolate digestives are eaten in the United Kingdom each year, giving an average of 52 biscuits per second.[7] HobNobs were launched in 1985 and a milk chocolate variant followed in 1987.[5] Launched in 1927, Jaffa Cakes were ranked the best selling cake or biscuit in the UK in 2012.[8]

In 1947 McVitie & Price made the wedding cake for Princess Elizabeth and Sir Philip Mountbatten.[9]

Some of the products in the McVitie's line were rebranded McV in 2002, but this was replaced in 2005 with a restyled version of the McVitie's brand logo. In 2007, United Biscuits licensed the McVitie's brand to Meiji Seika Kaisha Ltd for biscuit production in Japan.[10]

The best selling biscuit brand in the UK, McVitie's biscuits are the most popular biscuits to dunk in tea, with McVitie's chocolate digestives, Rich tea and Hobnobs ranked the nation's top three favourite biscuits in 2009.[11]

In March 2011, it was announced that Prince William had chosen a groom's cake for his wedding reception, made from 1,700 McVitie's Rich tea biscuits and 17 kg of chocolate.[12]

In June 2014 McVities announced their intention to make 157 shop floor roles redundant at their Manchester manufacturing facility.[13] This redundancy announcement was also due to the modernisation agenda of the company and also involves a move from an 8-hour 5 day operation, to a 7-day 12 hour operation.

Product lines[edit]


McVitie & Price's Digestive biscuit tin


Other snacks[edit]

Mini Cheddars ("original" and "BBQ" flavours)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The National Archives of Scotland. "McVitie & Price, Ltd" (– Scholar search). Retrieved 2 November 2007. [dead link][dead link]
  2. ^ Wallop, Harry (6 May 2012). "Jaffa Cakes - definitely not biscuits - prepare to take on imitators". The Daily Telegraph. The factory, which covers more than 10 acres, produces 2,000 Jaffa Cakes a minute 
  3. ^ United Biscuits. "Our History" (– Scholar search). Retrieved 6 November 2007. [dead link][dead link]
  4. ^ "Our Locations". United Biscuits. Archived from the original on 24 June 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2007. 
  5. ^ a b c "Crumbs, we've been eating McVitie's Digestives and Hobnobs all wrong! Firm says chocolate part is the BOTTOM". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 28 December 2014
  6. ^ Macmillan, p.238-52
  7. ^ "McVitie's". United Biscuits. Archived from the original on 9 August 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2007. 
  8. ^ "Jaffa Cakes - definitely not biscuits - prepare to take on imitators". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 28 December 2014
  9. ^ "Sixty facts about a royal marriage (item 43)". BBC News. 18 November 2007. Retrieved 15 January 2008. 
  10. ^ "Japanese McVities Digestives". Retrieved 16 August 2007. 
  11. ^ "Chocolate digestive is nation's favourite dunking biscuit". The Daily Telegraph (London). 2 May 2009
  12. ^ "Prince William's Groom's Cake". Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  13. ^ "157 jobs could go at McVities". Manchester Evening News. 
  14. ^ "McVitie's Fruit Shortcake". McVitie's.
  15. ^ "McVitie's launches Tasties biscuits". The Grocer.

External links[edit]