McVitie's is a snack food brand owned by United Biscuits. The name derives from the original Scottish biscuit maker, McVitie & Price, Ltd., established in 1830 on Rose Street in Edinburgh, Scotland. The firm moved to various sites in the city before completing the St. Andrews Biscuit Works factory on Robertson Avenue in the Gorgie district in 1888. The company also operates two large manufacturing plants south of the border in Levenshulme, Manchester and Harlesden, London.
Though the McVitie & Price factory burned down in 1894, it was rebuilt the same year and remained operative until 1969, when production ceased and operations were transferred to English sites. McVitie & Price expanded to a new factory in Harlesden in 1910 and to Manchester in 1917. The firm acquired Edinburgh bakery Simon Henderson & Sons in 1922. McVitie & Price merged with another Scottish family bakery, Macfarlane, Lang & Co., Ltd, in 1948 to become United Biscuits Group.
McVitie's brand products are now manufactured in five United Kingdom factories: the two former McVitie & Price factories in Harlesden and Manchester, a former Macfarlane, Lang & Co. factory named Victoria Biscuit Works in Glasgow, a former Carr's factory named The Biscuit Works established 1831 in Carlisle, and the McVitie’s Cake Co. factory (formerly Riley's Toffee Works) in Halifax.
McVitie & Price's first major biscuit was the McVitie's Digestive, the first ever digestive biscuit, created by young new employee Alexander Grant in 1892. The biscuit was given its name because it was thought that its high baking soda content served as an aid to food digestion.
The McVitie's Chocolate Homewheat Digestive was created in 1925. Over 71 million packets of McVitie's Chocolate Homewheat Digestives are eaten in the United Kingdom each year, giving an average of 52 biscuits per second. HobNobs were launched in 1985 and a milk chocolate variant followed in 1987.
Some of the products in the McVitie's line were rebranded McV in 2002, but this was replaced in 2005 with a restyled version of the McVitie's brand logo. In 2007, United Biscuits licensed the McVitie's brand to Meiji Seika Kaisha Ltd for biscuit production in Japan.
In March 2011, it was announced that Prince William had chosen a groom's cake for his wedding reception, made from 1,700 McVitie's Rich Tea biscuits and 17 kg of chocolate.