United Biscuits has cooled reports that it is developing a milk chocolate version of its traditionally dark chocolate orange-flavoured treat, Jaffa Cakes, casting it off as ‘rumours’.
The Telegraph and Daily Mail had reported that the UK biscuit brand has been ‘mulling over’ developing a milk chocolate product to resonate with the burgeoning consumer preference for sweeter foods.
Both reports detailed that Britain has a ‘increasingly sweet tooth’ and such a product would be a big it.
However, a spokesperson from the PR agency representing McVitie’s and Jaffa Cakes told BakeryandSnacks.com that while “it has been reported, it is a rumour.”
“McVitie’s is not going to talk about its product development,” he said.
In a statement, the biscuit brand said: “McVitie’s is always looking at new products and flavours to add to the already popular Jaffa Cakes range, but understandably cannot discuss these plans outside of the business."
Forming part of the McVities portfolio, Jaffa Cakes was first launched in 1927 and the brand said it has always maintained the dark chocolate formula as “the design is simple but appealing, and has become an enduring and appealing choice for consumers,” it said.
The company has however launched several different flavour fillings as limited editions, including strawberry and blackcurrent, along with some novelty packaging such as its yard-long tube over the 2011 Christmas period.
McVitie’s manufactures its Jaffa Cakes and Muffins at two UK production sites in Manchester and Halifax, with a reported 1.9 billion cakes made each year in Manchester alone.
The United Biscuit brand pulled in revenues of €68.3m in 2010, according to Euromonitor data, placing it just behind Cadbury’s chocolate coated biscuits pegged at €72.7m for the same year.
Euromonitor noted that the UK’s chocolate coated biscuit segment had a retail value of €883.7m in 2011 set to increase to €918.6m for 2012. However, Euromonitor detailed that the sector’s growth is set to depreciate, with an estimated 3.5% YoY growth for 2012-13 and a lower 3.1% YoY for 2013-14.