Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Penguin (biscuit)

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November 1952.
September 1954.
October 1954.

Penguin biscuits are milk chocolate-covered biscuit bars filled with chocolate cream.

1932 Penguins were first produced by William McDonald, a biscuit manufacturer in Glasgow, and later by United Biscuits manufacturing division, McVitie's.

Each wrapper had a joke or "funny fact" printed on it and imaginative, often humorous designs featuring penguins that often pastiche famous works of art.

Penguin's famous slogan of "P-p-p-pick up a Penguin!" with its recognisable signature stuttering effect has often been imitated in the media.

1965 McDonalds was acquired by United Biscuits.

Penguins were the subject of a court case between Asda and United Biscuits who accused Asda of passing off their own brand "Puffin" biscuits as part of the Penguin brand. The court found in favour of United Biscuits regarding passing off, but found that Asda had not infringed the Penguin trademark.

2003 McVitie's produced several "sub-brands" or variations of the Penguin biscuit, Penguin Chukkas, Wing Dings, Flipper Dipper, Splatz and Mini Splatz. These variations were accompanied by a £5 million promotional campaign.

2007 After United Biscuits itself was criticised for continuing to use trans-fatty acids in the cream filling of Penguins, by 2007 United Biscuits began to advertise the absence of trans fats from the Penguin biscuit, having removed the ingredient from this product line.

2008 McVitie's also produced Penguin triple chocolate wafers.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  • [1] United Biscuits website
  • [2] Wikipedia