Creative Brand Communications


January 23, 2024

McVitie’s appoint Chief Dunking Officer.

A new UK study has revealed that 6.1 million biscuits a week will meet an untimely demise in the bottom of a mug due to poor dunking techniques.

The new research by the nation’s leading biscuit baker McVitie’s, reveals that 80% of the UK population are self-confessed dunkers, with 38% saying they ‘always’ or ‘often’ dunk their biscuits in a beverage.

The study also found that 77% of the UK have lost a biscuit in a beverage due to over dunking, with 43% of those polled saying they have felt anxious about losing their biscuit in a beverage.

In a bold effort to make dunking debacles a thing of the past, McVitie’s has today announced the creation of a brand-new role with the appointment of a Chief Dunking Officer (CDO). Scientist and biscuit aficionado Dr Helen Pilcher has taken on the role and is on a mission to help make biscuit and beverage related woes a thing of the past by taking the guesswork out of the dunk.

Dr Pilcher has undertaken weeks of dunking experiments, putting a variety of biscuits through their paces. She made a breakthrough discovery that many biscuits need only be dunked for a fraction of a second (aka ‘the micro-dunk’), meaning most of us are dunking our biscuits wrong.

Dr Pilcher found that the average biscuit should absorb 20% of its original weight in liquid for the optimal dunk experience – she calls this the ‘biscuit dunking constant’.

This occurrence happens much quicker than you might think for many of our favourite biscuits.

Exhaustive research by Dr Pilcher and her team, conducted under laboratory conditions, has pinpointed the optimal dunk times for some of the nation’s favourite biscuits to enhance flavour and texture, as well as the Dunking Danger Zone – the point at which the biscuit is at risk of breaking. Dr Pilcher has also collated her suggested optimal beverage pairings, for a range of McVitie’s classic biscuits.

Robert Craggs, Lead Product Development Chef at McVitie’s UK & Ireland said: “Dunking a biscuit is an art form – it’s a delicate balance to preserve the integrity of the biscuit whilst also enhancing the taste with your drink of choice. Here at McVitie’s we’re proud to play a big part in the simple pleasure that is dunking a biscuit, no matter how you chose to do it. From classics like our Rich Tea to new favourites like the White Chocolate Digestive, there’s a perfect biscuit and drink pairing to be discovered, and we hope all biscuit lovers will feel inspired to try something a little different during their next dunk.”

McVitie’s research also revealed that Digestives (39%) are the nation’s favourite biscuit to dunk, closely followed by the Chocolate Digestive (35%) and Rich Tea (35%).
Tea (73%), coffee (40%) and hot chocolate (18%) are the most popular beverages to dunk in – though some Brits also dunk in cold or warm milk (14%), milkshakes (3%) orange juice (3%) and apple juice (2%).

53% of the nation say they dunk their biscuits because they like the flavour, whilst 50% like the change in texture.

Generation X dunk the most biscuits, with one third (33%) saying they dunk ‘often’, closely followed by Millennials (29%) and Baby Boomers (29%).

Negotiating the perfect dunk time can leave many Brits confused and result in a dunk debacle – with over 1 in 4 (29%) Brits confessing a need to perfect their dunking technique.

Of the nation’s biscuit dunkers, Londoners say their favourite biscuit to dunk is the Rich Tea, whereas Manchester residents prefer a Digestive. Overall, Northern Ireland is home to the most biscuit dunkers in the country – with 52% saying they ‘always’ or ‘often’ dunk biscuits in a beverage.

James King, Marketing Director at McVitie’s UK & Ireland said: “We were shocked following the results of our survey to discover just how many biscuits are being lost to dodgy dunking each week. As the baker of the nation’s true original biscuits, we feel we have a duty to help, which is why we’ve appointed a Chief Dunking Officer to save the Great British public from dunking debacles and achieve the perfect dunk, every time.”

McVitie’s new Chief Dunking Officer, Dr Helen Pilcher, added: “The natural porosity of a biscuit makes it an ideal snack to be dipped into a drink and soak up all the deliciousness. However, Brits are still susceptible to over-dunking their biscuits – which is why we have identified the Optimum Dunking Time and the Dunking Danger Zone for a range of McVitie’s classics. Each biscuit is unique in texture, structure, flavour and size, and all these factors affect its dunkability. Respect the Dunking Danger Zone, and we can save the nation from future dunking disasters!”


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