Home Life & Style Clever reason behind the McVities Hobnobs name

Clever reason behind the McVities Hobnobs name

The clever reasoning behind the naming of Hobnobs, a beloved biscuit among tea-drinking Brits, has only just come to light.

Channel 4’s The Secret World Of Biscuits recently delved into how the unique Hobnob managed to ‘stay ahead of the pack’.

The show explored the origins of the irresistible biscuit, which first graced supermarket shelves in 1985.

The Hobnob craze led to swift expansion and, much to the joy of sweet-toothed customers across the country, the creation of the glorious Chocolate Hobnob in 1987.

Regardless of how tasty a product may be, a company must devise a catchy, appealing name to attract shoppers – who will already have their go-to biscuit tin favourites.

When it came to naming the now legendary Hobnob, the marketing and development team took inspiration from focus groups, who simply couldn’t resist the oaty delight.

Among those sharing their story in the documentary was Pam Langworthy, who was responsible for leading a McVitie’s team dedicated to creating a new biscuit that would get customers talking – while still being cost-effective and easy to produce, reports the Mirror.

McVitie’s struck gold when they decided to mix oats into a biscuit recipe, creating an entirely new sensation that quickly became a consumer favourite.

Pam from McVitie’s shared the inside scoop: “[The focus groups] said [the biscuit] was knobbly, because, you know, it wasn’t a very smooth finish in the way, for instance, Digestive or Rich Tea are. And they said it looked as if somebody had made it at home, maybe made it on a hob.

“And so, I wanted a name that was very easy to say and just rolled off the tongue. And so, ‘Hobnob’.”

Her colleague at McVitie’s, Andrew Easdale, faced the challenge of selling the homely name to their executives, who were initially hesitant.

Recounting the experience, Andrew said: “There was a sort of I wouldn’t say a stunned silence, but there was a, um, hmmm, followed by, ‘couldn’t you call it something a bit more descriptive, like ‘oaty crunchies? ‘ I said ‘No, it’s gonna be Hobnobs. We need a brand’.”

After some persuasion, the bosses gave in, and thus the iconic Hobnob was born, cementing its place in biscuit history.


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