Source: Pladis

The NPD would make it “even easier for shoppers to tuck into their biscuit tin favourite”, said Pladis’ David Titman

McVitie’s is taking a fresh crack at a healthier digestive biscuit.

Its new non-HFSS digestive biscuit – Wholesense Digestives – is claimed to offer 30% less sugar and 50% more fibre than its standard counterpart, while retaining “the distinctive, salty-sweet flavour”.

The biscuits hit shelves this week in 300g packs designed with “distinctive, bold on-pack flashes” highlighting their “added benefits” (rsp: £1.59).

The NPD would make it “even easier for shoppers to tuck into their biscuit tin favourites, whether they are looking for an indulgent treat or something a little lighter”, said David Titman, marketing director at McVitie’s owner Pladis.

The launch is part of a massive push from Pladis to reduce sugar and boost health credentials across its range, which included the rollout of a non-HFSS Rich Tea biscuit earlier this year.

Prior to that, in 2020, it reformulated a spate of its brands to be healthier, including Original Digestives, Chocolate Digestives, Hobnobs, Caramel Digestives and Ginger Nuts.

At the time, the supplier said it had tested the recipe changes with “hundreds of consumers” including “a group of McVitie’s superfans” to ensure the biscuits tasted the same when dunked into a cup of tea.

However, McVitie’s has previously struggled to make digestive biscuits healthier while hitting the mark on taste.

Notably, it tried to make Digestives less fattening in 2008 and 2009, when it splashed £6m on a reformulation to halve their satfat content.

But the reformulated biscuits, as well as being costlier to produce, prompted shoppers to complain they were less ‘dunkable’ than their predecessors as they were too crumbly.

As a result, the brand ended up switching back to a ‘classic’ recipe for digestives in 2013.