National Biscuit Day: The ultimate ranking – Top 10 McVitie's biscuits

Did your favourite make the list?

21w ago

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McVitie's has brought us many of the world's favourite biscuits. From the humble Ginger Nut to the show-stopping Digestive, these guys really know a quality biscuit.

The company has been making biscuits for nearly 100 years – that's a pretty long time. It produces the top three biscuits to dunk into tea, and even holds a Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth II.

I've been asking the FoodTribe content team as well as scouring the many sources the world wide web has to offer to give you the ultimate list of the top ten McVitie's biscuits on International Biscuit Day.

10. Fruit Shortcake

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You can't go wrong with a shortcake. It's one of the nation's favourite and it goes with anything. Its embedded fruit and crumbly texture makes this biscuit quite a star in the McVitie's line-up. Enjoy this classic ad from the 70s. While this might be a surprise inclusion for some, it's a staple of McVitie's heritage and shouldn't be forgotten.

9. Nibbles

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Who doesn't love these miniature bites? Introduced a few years ago, Nibbles are small, ball-shaped, chocolate-covered biscuits that taste like a Digestive. Flavours include milk chocolate, caramel, orange, milk chocolate Hobnobs, hazelnut Hobnobs and more recently, Jaffa Cake. With a plethora of flavours, there's a Nibble for everyone. This advert featuring cute seals also makes the small biscuit balls some of the best ad work McVitie's has done.

8. Plain Hobnobs

"One nibble and you're nobbled", that was the famous catchphrase used to market what is effectively a plain oat biscuit. However, the Hobnob should not be underestimated. A 2014 survey declared the Chocolate Hobnob the nation's favourite biscuit. Since 1982, these oaty beauties have been rolling off the production lines and straight into our teas... and hearts.

7. Penguin

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Penguin biscuits are a milk chocolate covered biscuit bars with chocolate cream in the middle. They have been the lunchbox staple of every schoolchild for decades, and they even have a joke on the back of each wrapper. It's small, easy to eat and more importantly, it's delicious. What's not to love?

This advert from 1998 put a spin on the slogan, "P...P...P...Pick up a Penguin!” where they reversed the role of humans going to see penguins at the zoo. Instead, this advert shows a family of penguins going to the zoo to see the humans, who are fed fish paste. The slogan they use in these adverts was "P...P...P...Pick up a person!”

Who doesn't love a Penguin?

6. Club

The Club is again a biscuit bar covered in chocolate. It comes in various flavours such as: orange, mint, fruit, orange crunchies and honeycomb crunchies. The main joy of a Club bar is the sheer amount of chocolate. In fact, there's more chocolate than there is biscuit. It's sold under the Jacob's name in Northern Ireland and under the McVitie's brand in the UK.

The name is derived from the way Jacob's – the company that first came up with this biscuit – used to advertise Club. They used images of playing cards from the Club suit to illustrate and to advertise the new biscuit. The “Club” name was therefore a reference to this suit.

5. Rich Tea

Now this might divide some people... Rich Tea biscuits are like Marmite: some people love them, others absolutely despise them.

First developed in the 17th century, Rich Tea biscuits were made for the upper class as a light snack between meals. They were dubbed as "Tea Biscuits" around the time. Although it's one of the best selling biscuits in the British Isles, Rich Teas are also popular in Malta and Cyprus. The plain flavour and the strength of the Rich Tea makes it ideal for dunking in your tea.

4. Ginger Nut

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One of the most popular spices in the world, ginger is a versatile ingredient that can be used in anything from cakes, to tea to curries and fish! McVitie's has been making the Ginger Nut biscuit for more than 40 years, and it's a real hit with the British public. In 2009, the Ginger Nut was ranked the 10th best biscuit to dunk in your tea.

The Ginger Nut is also the most loved biscuit in New Zealand. The Kiwis get through 60 million of them per year: that's more than the entire population of Spain.

3. Plain Digestive

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It wouldn't be a McVitie's list without mentioning these classics. First developed in 1839, the Digestive was first developed by two Scottish doctors to aid digestion. The term "Digestive" is derived from the belief that the biscuits had antacid properties due to the use of sodium bicarbonate when they were first developed.

This is the best selling biscuit in the UK right now and is a clear favourite among the British public. Whether you dunk them in tea or use them for cheesecakes, over 80 million Digestive packets are sold each year. That's a lot of cheesecakes, and a lot of tea.

2. Chocolate Hobnobs

First launched in 1987, the chocolate variant of the much loved Hobnob is an absolute hit with the Brits. It's officially the sixth best biscuit to dunk into tea, and in 2014 a UK survey declared the Chocolate Hobnob the nation's favourite biscuit.

There's now many types of Hobnobs including: plain, milk and dark chocolate, orange and even Hobnob bars. The tagline, "Chocolate now has Hobnobs underneath" was used for the introduction of Chocolate Hobnobs to the UK.

McVitie's says on its website: "Enjoy the oaty rough & tumble of the nation’s crunchiest companion." Now that's a tagline that would get any biscuit lover interested.

1. Chocolate Digestive

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I don't think McVitie's would be where it was if it wasn't for the Digestive. The chocolate Digestive however takes the crumbly experience to a whole new level. This biscuit was a clear favourite among the FoodTribe Content team, as well as my personal favourite biscuit.

Over 13 million Chocolate Digestives are produced at the McVitie's factory in Harlesden, northwest London, every, single, day. That's enough to feed the entire population of London, with some people going for seconds. It was voted as the best biscuit to dunk into tea and it's also the seventh most popular confectionery item in the UK.

Originally produced by McVitie's in 1925 in the UK as the Chocolate Homewheat Digestive, other varieties include the basic biscuit with chocolate shavings throughout (chocolate "chips" in the biscuit mix), or a layer of caramel, mint chocolate, and orange flavoured chocolate.

McVitie's Digestive biscuits have become infamous among fans of the rock group The Beatles, because they were the cause of an argument between George Harrison and John Lennon during a recording session for the group's 1969 album Abbey Road.

Let us know your favourite McVitie's biscuits in the comments section below

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Comments (2)

  • Ah, I'd forgotten Clubs were a thing! The minty ones are excellent. Can't argue with the result though!

      4 months ago
    • Definitely!!!,the mint Clubs are heavenly!,also the Fruit one too!,I can easily devour a five pack👌🏻😋XX

        4 months ago
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