Sweet start to 2020

Maryland Cookies

There’s plenty of ‘new news’ for retailers to get excited about in the important biscuits category as 2020 properly gets underway with new products, new TV ads and new healthier snacking initiatives. 

Hot on the heels of its major acquisition of Paterson Arran, Burton’s Biscuit Company is back on the front foot with the return of its ‘What would you do for a Maryland?’ campaign to the nation’s TV screens this month, backed by social media activity. 

The £350k campaign sees the TV commercial premiering with ITV’s ‘The Voice’ during prime-time Saturday night viewing, alongside other popular programmes including ‘Take me out’ and ‘Celebrity Juice’. 

‘What would you do for a Maryland?’ taps into the nation’s love for cookies, centred on what people would do for a Maryland cookie in particular. In spring last year, the brand put this question to the nation in a UK-wide search for an official Maryland cookie taster. The campaign reached over 65% of the brand’s core audience – women aged 16-35, and attracted 300 applications, with wannabe cookie tasters pledging to climb Everest, walk a 1,000 miles, attend a festival dressed as a Cookie Monster and lots more, proving that the brand’s consumers really would do almost anything for a Maryland! 

When the TV campaign aired previously, brand penetration increased by 50% and not only drove sales for the 10g cookie championed in the commercial, but across the wider portfolio including Maryland Big & Chunky lines and Maryland Mini’s, the number one Kids Mini brand [Nielsen, Nov 2019]. 

Burton’s is also tackling the issue of portion control with its recently launched ‘Under 100 Cal Club’. Sital Parmar, Marketing Controller at Burton’s Biscuit Company, comments: “We’re committed to enabling consumers to make informed choices, allowing them to enjoy biscuits and snacks which suit their individual lifestyle. We also recognise the importance of offering a variety of permissible snacks which cater to different consumer needs and occasions and have a wide range of initiatives to drive the agenda on sugar, portion control and calorie reduction. 

“That’s why we’re rolling out the Burton’s ‘Under 100 Calorie Club’, accelerating demand for our market-leading ‘less than 100 calories’ range, with products suitable for consumers of all ages.” 

The move enables Burton’s to promote the UK’s biggest range of reduced calorie biscuits together, in line with the company’s commitment to leading the way in portion control, giving consumers an increased choice of permissible biscuits and snacks under 100 calories. 

The Under 100 Cal Club range includes: 

  • Jammie Dodgers Minis (89 kcal a portion) RSP £1 
  • Jammie Dodgers Jam & Yogurt Snacks (97 kcal a portion) RSP £1.39 
  • Maryland Minis Choc Chip (99 kcal a portion) RSP £1 
  • Maryland Minis Double Choc Chip (99 kcal a portion) RSP £1 
  • Maryland Oaty Cookie Bars (94 kcal a portion) RSP £1.39 
  • Maryland Chocolate Cookie Bars (97 kcal a portion) RSP £1.39 

Burton’s plans to extend the range to include more options from its best-selling brands at less than 100 calories a serve. 

Meanwhile, Border Biscuits has built on the success of its Dark Chocolate Ginger biscuit by launching in a new snack bar format: Dark Chocolate Ginger Bars. 

In 2019, the business removed over 90% of plastic from its retail packaging in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint. It also donates 10% of its profits to local charities and community projects.