UB’s chief executive Jeff van der Eems said a key focus had been on developing its McVitie’s Digestives brand into a truly global product.
The company reported that 60,000t had been exported from the UK this year, worth a total of £250M in retail sales, to more than 130 countries – with two-thirds of this comprising McVitie’s Digestives.
Key target markets
Africa, the Middle East, India and China are the four key target markets for the company. China is the fourth largest biscuit market in the world, despite biscuit consumption per capita there being still being only half of the world average, UB said.
This meant there was a lot more business to go for, it added.
UB’s west London facility at Harlesden – said to be the biggest biscuit factory in Europe – currently produces about a sixth of its output specifically for export. A further £15M of investment is planned at the factory in 2016 to help improve its capacity and boost its export potential further.
“At United Biscuits we have established a strong track record of success in finding consumers worldwide who love our iconic McVitie’s British biscuits,” said van der Eems.
“Whether through exporting or manufacturing locally, our international development model is central to UB’s strategy for growth and will involve continued investment in our UK sites.”
Meanwhile, UB last month opened an eCommerce store for consumers in China on Alibaba Group’s Tmall Global platform.