Product Type: McVities Snacks
Newest Review: ... red plastic wrapper - containing all 9 (or however many bars) bars. Each biscuit is individually wrapped in a different colour plastic wra... more
I love to eat penguins....the chocolate biscuits aren't bad either!
Member Name: Jojoborne
Advantages: Great tasting. Traditional English biscuit bar
Disadvantages: Don't eat too many between meals.
McVities penguins have been around for years and years and probably longer than most of you think. I remember taking them to school in my lunch box or buying them from the tuck shop. I also remember the many advertising campaigns over the years.
Penguins, the chocolate bar, not the creature are probably one of the best chocolate bars on the market for a quick snack. They are small enough to not ruin your appetite for dinner and large enough to tide you over. They also taste yummy and come in many different variations these days.
They were first introduced by McVities in nineteen thirty-two (yes, before the Second World War) and have been enjoyed by children and adults alike ever since.
The founder or creator of Penguin biscuits was William Macdonald, who worked at the Glasgow branch of the McVities Company.
The numerous variations on the Penguin include 'Penguin Chukkas'. 'Penguin Wing Dings', 'Penguin Flipper Dippers' and the 'Splatz' and 'Mini Splatz' bars. A triple chocolate Penguin wafer was produced for sale in two thousand and eight.
The advertising campaigns were mostly run with real penguins in funny situations and the wrapper of each bar contains a funny joke or anecdote.
In 1890 after numerous tries, a Scottish man by the name of John Montgomerie was granted a patent for the manufacture of digestive biscuits. By the nineteen thirties McVitie & Price went onto manufacture some of the best loved biscuits in the UK and around the world from their base in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The original factory in Scotland was burned to the ground in a fire but rebuilt and operated until nineteen ten, when it moved to Harlsden in England. Another factory was built in nineteen seventeen in Manchester. The company still had strong Scottish links with Edinburgh bakery giants Simon Henderson and sons working with them from the nineteen twenties. In nineteen forty-eight they joined forces with MacFarlane Lang and Company, once again keeping their Scottish roots, and became known as the United Biscuits Group.
The digestive was the first biscuit produced by McVities and the first ever digestive to go full scale on the market. It was actually created by a relative nobody in terms of the trade and the company; a young lad, just finished his apprenticeship in eighteen ninety-two, who was named Alexander Grant. It became famous because of the rumour of its healing properties against indigestion.
The Penguin chocolate biscuit bar was one of the pioneers of the company having been first produced in nineteen thirty-two. Some of the more famous biscuits came much later on with 'Rich Tea', 'Ginger nuts' and many of the other famous biscuits under the brand.
McVities are also renowned for trying to make their biscuits as healthy as is practically possible with this kind of food. They reduced the sodium in their biscuits by ten per cent in two thousand and four and have since lowered them even more.
When McVities were taken on by 'United Biscuits' in nineteen sixty-four, the Penguin brand was one of the flagship products in their advertising campaigns.
In two thousand and seven United Biscuits repackaged the biscuits to let the public know that they had stopped using trans-fatty acids in them after receiving many complaints from professionals in the food and healthy industry.
They also had a famous court case where they took 'Asda' to court after Asda made their own biscuit called 'Puffin', which was remarkably similar to a Penguin bar. United Biscuits accused Asda of trying to pass-off their biscuit as a penguin bar. The court was found to be in agreement with United Biscuits and Asda were found guilty off trying to cash in on the Penguin name but were found not guilty of infringing the Penguin Trademark.
There is a famous biscuit in Australia called the 'Tim Tam', which is very similar and was probably made famous in the UK when Natalie Imbruglia showed Graham Norton how to suck tea through one and then immediately place it in your mouth.
What's in them?
Penguins are milk chocolate covered biscuit bars that are filled with chocolate flavoured cream.
Emulsifiers (Soya Lecithin, E476), Natural Flavouring], Wheat Flour, Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder, Raising Agents (Ammonium Bicarbonate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Natural Flavourings, Salt.
Believe it or not, Penguins are actually regarded as a healthy snack for children as they are low on calories and are a good Source of Calcium. They contain twenty-five per cent of kids recommended daily calcium intake per bar. In fact, one bar provides twenty-five per cent of Children's (7-10yrs) Reference Nutrient Intake and seventeen per cent of Adult Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA).
Typical values per 100g per biscuit
Energy 2175kj 479kj
Energy 520kcal 114kcal
Protein 5.2g 1.2g
Carbohydrate 62.4g 13.7g
of which sugars 39.8g 8.8g
Fat 27.7g 6.1g
of which saturates 15.5g 3.4g
Fibre 2.4g 0.5g
Sodium 0.1g <0.1g
Penguins are quite moreish and hard to beat for a standard chocolate biscuit. I used to love taking them to school and even though they are meant to be nutritious, as far as a chocolate biscuit is concerned, I seem to remember my friends consuming them five or six at a time, which cannot be a good thing. That, of course, is not the fault of the biscuit bar but the fault of greedy kids and inadequate parenting.
On the whole I think Penguins are synonymous with fun and energy, just like the actual bird and they taste great so I would recommend them to anyone who wants a nice tasty snack.
Summary: A great tasting traditional English chocolate biscuit bar.