Simon Tuckey, ex- McVitie’s director, is going ‘against the grain’ and reckons the third largest biscuit company in the world – McVitie’s, is getting it wrong!
Founder of Tuckey’s, the Proper Digestive Brand, Simon believes in properly made food and feels McVitie’s has changed a classic recipe too many times, at the expense of taste and ultimately the consumer.
Having worked at McVitie’s for over 28 years, Simon left 15 years ago and has since seen the recipe for Digestives change at least four times. He believes passionately that the classic Digestive should be made from simple ingredients – demerara sugar, butter and molasses – and should not need to change at all. It is this simplicity that made the reputation of the Digestive in the first place and not the influence of focus groups upon which has been built the composition of today’s McVitie’s Digestive.
Simon is battling to show how it should really be done, leading the way in the everyday biscuit category in terms of taste and flavour, first with Digestive and then with other biscuits. Built on a combined experience of 120 years in the biscuit market, Simon and fellow founders of Tuckey’s have spent the majority of their careers at McVitie’s and also boast Mark Laing as founder and director, whose great grandfather, Alexander Grant, originally invented the Digestive biscuit.
Founded with the sole purpose of creating food the ‘proper way’, Tuckey’s is focused on growing the everyday biscuit category by bringing the best taste to the British public – it set a target of 2:1 preference over McVitie’s in creating its recipe and will adopt an identical benchmark for future launches. Aiming to make a major impact on biscuits in the next five years, Tuckey’s is currently in the final stages of its second biscuit development and aims to deliver a variety of properly made versions of iconic packaged foods that are ‘not what they were’.
Taking aim at successive governments, Simon Tuckey says: “Food shouldn’t be just about price but also about real taste and satisfaction. The government has pressured food manufacturers to adjust recipes constantly in the last 20 years and this has had no effect on obesity rates. Packaged food has been repeatedly doctored and become blander – at Tuckey’s we believe it is this very blandness that has encouraged people to eat more not less, as they seek satisfaction through fullness rather than taste.”
He continues: “Manufacturers and retailers have jointly ratcheted the price of food down from over 30% of household income 30 years ago to less than 15% today, but are they and the government missing the point: is food simply fuel at the lowest possible price or one of life’s great pleasures – whatever your income level?
“At Tuckey’s, we intend to present shoppers with the best taste – end of. We will use the best and most authentic ingredients allied to the proven methods and the latest technology; we use ‘sacks’ of sugar and ‘packets’ of butter but we also have robots gently putting our biscuits in the carton. We will not compromise, ruin taste and create bland products; we will follow our (120 years) judgement about how our products should be made and leave consumers to decide whether to buy us or not. We will bring back and create a superior biscuit”.
Simon Tuckey is founder of Tuckey’s. This is a personal blog and views expressed are his own.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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