As chocolate biscuit bars go, you can always depend on the good old Penguin. It gets straight to the point and gives you exactly what you want – chocolate. Chocolate biscuit with chocolate cream filling, all coated in yet more milk chocolate, it might not be anything fancy, but it hits the spot.
The Penguin was first produced way back in 1932 by William McDonald, a biscuit company from Glasgow. In 1946 it became part of the McVitie’s line up when McDonald joined forces with several other biscuit companies to form United Biscuits (but not United biscuits, they came a long a little later 😉 )
Quite why they were named after the cold dwelling flightless bird I’m not sure, I don’t really see the link myself if there is one. However, the use of the Penguin was definitely a good idea, as most people tend to find penguins amusing, a fact which various TV adverts for the brand that we’ve had over the years took great advantage of.
The brands slogan of P-P-Pick Up A Penguin has also stood the test of time, and indeed is still used on the packaging now, though I can’t recall seeing a TV advert featuring it for quite some time.
Here’s a good example of the kind of advert we were treated to when I was a kid. It features a parcel of penguins (apparently that is the name for a group of them!) waddling around a fun fair and generally having a good time on the dodgems. It’s accompanied by a song sung by a very well-to-do sounding gentleman, which makes great use of the stuttering P to bring us the classic line “When you feel a little p-peckish, p-p-p-pick up a Penguin!”