United Biscuits and Alibaba Group collaborate to introduce unique British biscuits to consumers in China
9 November 2015: United Biscuits (UB), a leading international manufacturer of biscuits, cakes and snacks, has officially opened its flagship eCommerce store for consumers in China on Alibaba Group’s Tmall Global platform.
The launch of the store is strategically timed to take place just before Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival on 11 November. This 24-hour sale is China’s annual shopping event that in previous years has outperformed Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the USA. In 2014, Alibaba generated USD 9.3 billion in gross merchandise volume during the 24-hour sale on 11 November alone.
China is a strategic market for UB. It is the fourth largest biscuit market in the world, despite biscuit consumption per capita being still only half the world average. UB launched its McVitie’s Digestives in China in 2012 via traditional retailers, and since introducing the brand to the market, Chinese consumers have taken a real liking to these wholesome British food icons.
Consumers in China recognise McVitie’s great tasting products and are willing to pay a premium for the high quality hygiene and food safety standards of UB imported products. The McVitie’s Digestive achieved the highest accolade by the International Taste & Quality Institute certifying its superior taste. In a bid to meet the growing consumer demand, UB is now putting increasing emphasis on eCommerce channels in China, in addition to its traditional retail business.
Marcel Willems, United Biscuits Regional General Manager Greater China said:
“China is a very important market for United Biscuits, and we have high expectations of our flagship store on Tmall Global. McVitie’s is an iconic British brand, and via our Tmall Global store, we are making the brand accessible to another 386 million potential consumers across China, who all now have the opportunity to buy the Original McVitie’s Digestives in British packaging, directly from the source. ”
Amee Chande, Alibaba Group Managing Director, UK said, “Increasingly we see Chinese consumers searching for unique food items that represent a culture or lifestyle that they cannot find in China. McVitie’s are one such brand that have created a wonderfully British product that has the heritage and quality that the Chinese consumer is looking for.”
The launch of this store in China adds to existing eCommerce platforms in UB’s core markets opened for business earlier this year; The McVitie’s Sweeet™ Shop in the UK and the Delacre Mailbox in Northern Europe, which both offer the opportunity for personalisation of products at point of sale. This could well be a template for future developments of UB’s Tmall Global flagship store in China as well.
Notes to editors:
Tmall Shop – Link to site here
McVitie’s Sweeet™ Shop – https://my.mcvities.co.uk
Delacre Mailbox – www.mailboxdelacre.com
For further press information contact:
3 Monkeys Communications:
Tel: +44 (0)20 7009 3100
Molly Morgan, Alibaba Group
Tel: +44 (0)20 7516 0683
About United Biscuits
United Biscuits (UB) is a leading international biscuit manufacturer whose baking heritage goes back generations, with many recipes passed down since the 1800s. UB bakes some of the best loved sweet and savoury biscuits and cakes that are household names in their respective markets; supported by a strong culture of innovation to continually develop snack brands. Among UB’s popular brand names are McVitie’s, Penguin, go ahead!, McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes, Jacob’s, Jacob’s Cream Crackers, Twiglets, Mini Cheddars and Carr’s in the UK, BN, Delacre, Verkade and Sultana in Continental Europe and Haansbro in Nigeria.
As the leading manufacturer and marketer of biscuits in the UK and second largest in the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Ireland, the company owns and operates 16 manufacturing facilities, of which seven are in the UK and has a strong footprint for growth, with products sold in over 130 countries.
UB is owned by Yildiz Holding – Owner of the master brands Ülker, McVitie’s and Godiva, Yildiz is a global, snacking focused food company with over 320 brands in 49 different categories. With 77 factories in 14 countries, the company exports to 100+ countries and operates in a geography housing around 4 billion people. Yildiz is the world’s 3rd largest biscuits company and employs 49,000 people around the world. https://english.yildizholding.com.tr/
About Tmall Global
Launched in February 2014, Tmall Global (www.tmall.hk) is an overseas platform and an extension of Alibaba Group’s B2C Tmall business, which enables overseas merchants to enter China’s online retail market. By joining Tmall Global, merchants can conduct business from overseas without the need for physical operations within mainland China. International brands on Tmall Global benefit from the exposure to the hundreds of millions of visitors on Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com. Through Tmall Global, Chinese consumers have access to a variety of branded products sourced and fulfilled from outside mainland China.