McVitie's Digestives

United Biscuits UK is reverting to the older recipe of McVitie’s Digestives

United Biscuits is switching the recipe for its McVitie’s Digestives back to one last used four years ago, which contains more saturated fat.

From February, it is reverting to a ‘classic’ recipe that contains sustainable palm oil rather than reduced saturated fat sunflower oil that was introduced in two stages in 2008 and 2009. The company said some consumers had missed the “taste, texture and dunkability” of the original recipe.

The move comes as the Digestives brand is outperforming the overall biscuits market, with sales up 11.8% year-on-year to £141.2m [Nielsen 52w/e 12 October 2013] in a category up 3.1%.

At the time of the 2009 reformulation, which cut the sat fat content by 50% and followed a similar reduction the year before, UB revealed it had spent £5m on the change – and that the lower-fat recipe was more expensive to produce that the original.

UB said this week shoppers who wanted a lower-fat alternative would still have the option of buying McVitie’s Digestive Light, which it said had the same saturated fat content as the current McVitie’s Digestives recipe and 30% less total fat.

The recipe for McVitie’s Chocolate Digestives is not being changed, although earlier this year UB cut the size and rsp of packs of Chocolate Digestives and introduced a 200g pack – its smallest yet.

United Biscuits was not among the business to agree to a new pledge on saturated fat reduction that was announced under the Responsibility Deal in October. The pledge committed companies to “support and enable people to consume less saturated fat through actions such as product/menu reformulation, reviewing portion sizes, education and information and incentivising consumers to choose healthier options”. UBUK has made nine other pledges under the Deal.