Do you use palm oil? If so, is this sustainable palm oil?
Palm oil is widely used for a variety of reasons, and is one of the most productive crops per hectare compared to alternatives. That said, we regularly review our raw materials to ensure we are using the most appropriate raw materials to deliver the quality required across our range of snacks.
At pladis UK and Ireland we take the sourcing of all our raw materials seriously. We have been a member of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) organisation since 2007 and have been using 100% RSPO-certified palm oil since 2009. We recognise as a responsible business we need to continue to support the industry on its transformation journey; in addition to purchasing RSPO-certified palm oil, in 2018 pladis UK and Ireland became members of The Forest Trust.
Do you use GMO in your products?
UB uses only non-GM ingredients in its products. As a responsible food manufacturer, UB’s priority is to assure the safety and quality of the ingredients it uses.
Since 1997 UB has:
- Where necessary, substituted soya and maize ingredients with non-GM alternatives.
- Where substitution was inappropriate, UB has sourced ingredients from traditional, identity preserved crops – i.e. non-GM crops.
The integrity of UB’s policy is backed by a rigorous inspection process which covers all aspects of supply – from field to factory.
Despite the audit trail, accidental or inadvertent presence of GM material can still occur in a non-GM crop. This can occur through transference in nature – e.g. via wind borne pollen or it can happen accidentally. To date, UB has opted not to label products as non-GM even though it could make many of the specific non-GM claims made publicly by others.
Why is it that for some products the packaging can be larger than the product?
The packaging of our products is under constant review and great care, attention and research is given to the development of new packaging. Our first concern is to ensure that the product is effectively protected against damage or contamination in transit. We also aim to package our products in ways which reflect how people prefer to use them.
We take our responsibilities for the environment very seriously and try to balance all aspects of protection, presentation, promotion and cost as carefully as we can. We certainly never aim to wrap our products in more packaging than is necessary to give them maximum protection as this would add to the cost for both ourselves and the consumer.
What is UB’s policy on sponsorship/donation requests?
UB is approached by many groups and individuals representing causes and the task of choosing between them is almost impossible for us. So we have recently adopted a clear policy which makes those decisions more understandable for those people requesting support.
We have a small budget which supports charitable causes, our policy is to allocate this budget to causes directed at families and children and to look for a strong local link in communities where our sites are located.
Product is out of date what should I do?
The fact that the product was sold beyond the indicated date is the responsibility of the retailer and we would recommend that you return the product to the shop from where it was purchased together with the purchase receipt.
How do I know if a product is suitable for vegetarians?
For any of our products that are suitable for a vegetarian diet the recognised vegetarian logo will be displayed on the pack near to the pack weight and barcode.
What is your position on using cage-free eggs?
At pladis UK & Ireland, we’re proud guardians of much-loved household favourites including McVitie’s, Jacob’s and go ahead! and strive every day to make delicious biscuits, cakes and snacks that people love to eat. We also recognise that consumer satisfaction today goes beyond great taste.
That’s why, at pladis UK & Ireland, we will only use eggs laid by cage-free hens in all our products by 2025.
Are any UB products Kosher certified?
For any of our products that are Kosher certified, the recognised Kosher symbol will be displayed on pack.
Do any of your products contain alcohol?
Should alcohol be used as a direct ingredient, for example within the recipe for a Christmas cake line within the cream flavouring, this would be clearly labelled within the list of ingredients.
Occasionally however, it is possible that trace amounts can be used purely as a carrier in a flavour used in our products. The amount within the product is minute; however if you have any concerns for your diet or require any further information then please contact us.
Do you provide product lists for consumers who have a dietary requirement?
Yes, you can find product lists in the Special Diets section of the website for all key groups, for example, products which are suitable for vegetarians. If you have a nutritional or dietary query which is not covered by these, please contact us.
Do you use Mono Sodium Glutamate in your products?
MSG or Monosodium Glutamate (E621) is used to develop and enhance the flavour of many savoury products and is commonly found in soups, sauces, prepared meals and sausages as well as in snacks such as crisps and savoury biscuits.
MSG is permitted in foods in general to a maximum level of 10g/kg according to both UK and EC legislation. There are some foods or types of food which are not allowed to contain additives, or where the use of certain additives is restricted, this includes foods for infants and young children. It is correct that MSG is not permitted in these foods, however our products do not fall into this category. Foods for infants and young children actually refers to formulae and weaning foods or foods that are specially prepared for infants and young children.
We recognise that some people need or prefer to avoid MSG in their diet and where it is included as an ingredient will always be labelled clearly on packaging within the ingredients list.
Are your products suitable for coeliacs?
Unfortunately, many of our products are not suitable as they contain cereal or flour based ingredients. For more information, please go to the Special Diets section.
Where can I buy UB products?
Unfortunately, we can’t specify the individual stores in your area that stock our products, as we deliver to the Central Warehouses of large multiples, and because store ranges change from time to time. Smaller stores or outlets purchase from local Wholesale or Cash and Carry outlets.
Can your packaging be recycled?
In the case of cardboard, such as cartons or paper, this can be recycled through normal recycling facilities.
We’ve also partnered with recycling experts TerraCycle since 2012 so that you can now recycle all our plastic packaging. You can either send your wrappers in via Freepost, or drop them off at one of nearly 500 locations around the country, and TerraCycle will recycle all the wrappers.
In addition, we’re members of the UK Plastics Pact, and we’ve pledged to work with our industry partners to make all our plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.
Why do you discontinue lines?
There are a number of reasons why this might happen. Some common reasons are that some products are removed from sale by retail outlets as they do not reach the rate of sale required to maintain viability on shelf. Unfortunately, in many cases we are unable to influence this.
A long standing product may also be discontinued due to a falling off of popularity, resulting in it no longer being a viable product to produce.
Can you explain the coding to me for these packs - I don't understand it?
All consumer units, i.e. what is sold via a retail outlet, are required to carry a Best Before code, to advise the recommended time for consumption of the product.
In the case of multi-packs, due to manufacturing complexities occasionally the date codes are applied to the outer packaging only, as this is the unit being offered for sale and therefore covers the entire contents. The code on the individual packet is not a best before date; it is an internal code which show us the week, line number of production, production team/shift and the time the packet was produced. In these cases, a note of the best before date applied to the outer pack needs to be made.
How should I store your products?
The general rule for all of our products is to store them in a cool, dark place, particularly so for chocolate products. We would strongly recommend storing our products away from strong flavours or materials such as washing powders or other cleaning materials, which may taint the product and result in poor taste or quality.
I have a query on the product I have bought - where can I find out more?
You can contact our Consumer Services team on our Careline, or via email. You can find these on the Contact us page.
If you are for any reason dissatisfied with any of our products, please Contact us to inform us so that we can look into it and where necessary take any actions needed.
Can I submit an idea for a new product / packaging, or for a variant to an existing product / packaging?
We receive lots of feedback and comments on our current brands and packaging, suggesting new ideas for our products and packaging. At UB we have bespoke teams who work in partnership with professionals, and whose responsibility it is to innovate, test and evaluate new product ideas all the time.
Experience has shown us that often people send us their suggestions for things that we may have already considered, are actually in development, have been tested or used previously by ourselves or our competitors or have been ruled out for various reasons. New products are many years in planning and they need to be carefully researched to ensure they have mass appeal, brand fit, are technically feasible and commercially justifiable, at a minimum.
Should you submit an idea, artwork, invention, development, suggestion, concept, etc. to us, you agree that your submission is non-confidential and UB is free to use that information, and any such use is without compensation to the party submitting that information. UB will not acknowledge or enter into any correspondence in relation to unsolicited submissions.
How much sugar do UB products contain?
At UB we offer a wide range of baked snack foods from indulgent treats to healthier snacks. For consumers seeking biscuits with a relatively low sugar content, McVitie’s Digestives have just 2.5g sugar per biscuit (half a teaspoon) and McVitie’s Rich Tea have even less at just 1.7g sugar per biscuit. We also have many savoury products under the Jacob’s brand which are lower in sugar than our sweet biscuits.
We are committed to providing clear and accurate nutrition information for our products and as such clearly label the sugar content per biscuit, or per portion where appropriate, on the front of packs, as well as in the nutrition information table on the back.
There is also further information on the Our Products section of this website.
What are free sugars?
Sugars have been in the limelight recently following a review of the scientific evidence surrounding sugar intakes and health. The media coverage has led to lots of confusion about what types of sugars we should be eating and how much. Here is a short summary:
Sugars can be divided into two main categories:
Free sugars – include all sugars added to foods by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, plus sugars naturally present in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices.
Intrinsic sugars – include those naturally present in whole fruits or vegetables and in milk.
How much sugar should I eat as part of a healthy diet?
The UK government reference intakes, based on an average adult female, outline that we should eat no more than 90g of total sugars per day. This includes both free sugars and intrinsic sugars found in milk or whole fruits and vegetables.
The recent change to dietary recommendations in the UK applies specifically to free sugars, and it is now recommended that we should have no more than 5% of our daily energy intake coming from free sugars. This equates to no more than 30g/day for people aged from 11 years and adults. Children aged 4-6 years should aim for no more than 19g/day and children aged 7-10 years should have no more than 24g/day.
Treats and snack foods, such as biscuits, can easily be incorporated into a healthy balanced diet which still meets the new recommendations. This is demonstrated by The British Nutrition Foundation who have published some dietary modelling and developed a 7 day menu plan illustrating what a diet that meets the new recommendations for free sugars could look like.
Two chocolate biscuits are included in this menu plan as a snack, demonstrating that all foods can be eaten in moderation as long as the whole diet is balanced.