Growing the family

Famous Scottish biscuit giant Tunnock’s prepares for expansion to meet growing demand

FEW brands are as recognisably a part of the Scottish culture as Tunnock’s.

The biscuit giant was sixth in Scottish Grocer’s list of the most valuable Scottish brands 2016 (excluding alcohol) and sells more biscuits than any other biscuit brand in the home market.

Clearly, its range means much more to Scots than mere caramel, coconut and chocolate.

Tunnock’s is a family business and the family, led by Boyd Tunnock, say they give it their undivided attention, combining tradition and technology.

Caramel Wafers and the famed Teacakes, along with Snowballs, make up the majority of their production, with an increasing turnover, now at £52m.

Today, 3.5m Teacakes leave the factory each week along with 6m Caramel Wafers and 1m Caramel Logs.

Tunnock’s reckons it gives Scots a connection to the period when Scotland was a manufacturing powerhouse. And despite modern challenges its range of products continues to appeal to consumers of all types.

Earlier this year Tunnock’s revealed sales of their tea cakes had rocketed by 10% in Scotland. However, around 20% of the brand’s sales are now abroad, where new markets are opening up and demand continues to grow.

Its biscuits are still made in Uddingston where, in 1890, Boyd’s grandfather started the business. He made things that people wanted to buy and 127 years later his successors haven’t forgotten that.

Today the much-extended Tunnock’s factory currently stands at 200,000 sq ft, but work is underway to extend it further, with the addition of a new three-storey wing that will add a further 30 jobs to the payroll and provide the company with an extra 10% production capacity.

Work is expected to complete in early 2018.

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Tunnock’s timeline

Thomas Tunnock opens the first Tunnock’s bakery in Uddingston.


Archie Tunnock, son of Thomas, takes over the bakery business.


The Caramel Wafer, created by Archie Tunnock, is created.


The Tunnock’s Snowball is created by Archie and his sons.


The Caramel Log is added to the growing range of products.


Boyd Tunnock, Archie’s younger son, invents the Teacake.


Teacake sales increase to reach 1,000 boxes a week.


New technology arrives with a robotic system for caramel logs.


Tunnock’s introduces the first Teacake robot to the factory.


Teacakes play their part in the Commonwealth Games.


Tunnock’s celebrates its 125th year in business.


A multi-million pound extension of the factory is announced.