Go forth and indulge

Mouth-watering sweet and savoury biscuits that promise to be long-remembered once tried for the first time, have been the trademark treats made by Thomas Fudge’s for over a century

Comparing indulgence to a form of art, Thomas Fudge’s has always aimed high and strived for perfection when baking its remarkable delights. Ever since Thomas Fudge founded his bakery in 1916, the company’s focus has been on local sourcing and artisan craftsmanship, with recipes being passed down from generation to generation. “Even after more than 100 years, remarkable baking remains our key differentiator and underpins the brand, highlighting the way we work and the passion that drives us. To this day, we still slowly bake our tasty treats in batches. We are very proud to have retained many years of knowledge and expertise in our bakers, many of whom have been with us from boy to man,” begins CEO, Garry Biggs.

During the interwar period, Thomas Fudge’s specialised in making mainly bread and patisserie-style cakes and biscuits. Later on, after the end of World War II, it began producing Chelsea buns and doughnuts, and in the 1980s – gingerbread men and ginger biscuits. It was in 1993, though, that it created its flagship product, namely, the iconic Florentines. “They truly give a unique and differentiated offering in comparison to other chocolate products in the market. As found out by a YouGov survey, 67 per cent of UK consumers have heard of Florentines, with 48 per cent having bought the luxurious biscuit before, proving it has broad appeal to the public. What we have also noticed, is that the Florentines are particularly popular across the festive period. Recently, we secured a major investment in the production of Florentines, which will allow us to further reinforce the brand,” Garry discusses.

New product launches
Offered in a new, larger format, specifically designed for the foodservice sector and to tap into occasions from mid-afternoon sweet treats in coffee shops to lunchtime indulgences on-the-go, the Florentines have continued to grow in popularity, but their new packaging is hardly the only product development that has taken place at Thomas Fudge’s in 2018. “As the premium end of the market continues to grow, we have to keep our fingers on the pulse of market trends, insights, and gaps. This year, we entered the flatbread market with the launch of three flavours: Cheddar & Shallot, Chickpea & Sesame, and Tomato & Red Chilli,” Garry points out. “Moreover, we added two new exceptionally moreish flavours to our Blisscuits range – White Chocolate Zesty Lemon and Triple Chocolate. We are also very proud to have been in partnership with Unilever for over 10 years and continue to produce a delicious range of Marmite products, including newly launched Marmite Breakfast Biscuits and Marmite Biscuits for Cheese.”

Bold new look
This past June, Thomas Fudge’s announced a full packaging rebrand, which included the design of a new logo, updated illustrations, and a whole new bold and colourful look, developed to support point of purchase (POP) and help the business stand out on supermarket shelves. “We did some research with our customers and it became clear that it was difficult for them to spot us in the supermarket and tell each product apart. For this reason, we have now included lovely close-up pictures of the biscuits on the front and introduced the colour from the sides into the illustrations on the front to help shoppers find their favourite. Furthermore, each pack has a logo paying homage to Thomas Fudge and features the caption ‘Go forth and indulge’,” Garry explains.

Simon Tovey, Commercial Director, added: “Our new look moves the brand on to make it more single-minded, bolder, and more confident. We have maintained our distinctiveness while improving on-shelf standout and we are sure that our brand makeover will go a long way to delivering a strong point of difference, attracting new consumers and simplifying the shopper’s journey.”

Garry continues: “Given the peaks we see around Christmas, this is an important time of the year to encourage trial buys and ultimately convert these sales into repeat purchases. POP is a significant aspect that should not be underestimated, with studies showing that 82 per cent of purchase decisions are made at POP. Our products fall into a high-impulse category, so we need to make sure that they are easily visible to get those initial purchases.

“We have ambitious growth plans for the company and the brand. We want to continue to delight adults wherever they happen to be with Thomas Fudge’s remarkable and innovative baked treats, focusing on developing our sweet and savoury offering, as well as looking at products that tie in seasonally. We also have a strategic five-year plan in place and we are fully committed to making further investments and driving the business forward. It is of utmost importance to upgrade our bakery on a regular basis, in order to retain our efficiency and enable more capacity, flexibility, and different formats. By following our plans, we should be able to realise substantial growth across the brand in the years to come,” he wraps up.