United Biscuits UK is gearing up to launch a host of new products in 2013 in what it claims will be one of its “biggest-ever” years for NPD.

Next month, it will take on Burton’s Cadbury Mini Animals with the roll-out of McVitie’s Mini Jungle Friends and McVitie’s Mini Pirate Crew - shaped biscuits that snap into four individual characters.

It is also launching McVitie’s Mini Gingerbread and Mini Chocolate Digestives Fun Shapes, a variety of shaped milk chocolate digestives that will be sold in multipacks containing six 25g bags.

UBUK hopes to boost its £125m McVitie’s Digestives brand, which has risen 1.6% in value but fallen 4.2% by volume [Nielsen 52 w/e 15 September 2012], by adding more chocolate to its Milk and Dark Chocolate Digestives biscuit ranges from next month. It is also extending the line-up with Double Chocolate Digestives, a chocolate-flavoured biscuit containing chocolate chips and half-coated in milk chocolate.

Meanwhile, Digestives and Gingernuts are being extended into the cake sector as McVitie’s Digestives Slice and McVitie’s Gingernut Slice following the success of Twix Slice and Galaxy Cookie Crumble Slice.

Another booming brand, Medley, up 26% year-on-year [Nielsen], is being extended with a Rocky Road variant combining Rich Tea biscuit chunks with cereals, cocoa crispies, raisins and chocolate chips.

UBUK said the launches would mean the removal of some existing lines. “We work with customers to identify trends that may result in underperforming SKUs from some segments being replaced by NPD in other segments,” said UBUK planning director Mark Sugden.

Marketing plans for 2013 include TV pushes for Chocolate Digestives, Medley and McVitie’s Breakfast Biscuits.