May 29th was ‘National Biscuit Day’, If you’re wondering why that’s even a thing – don’t worry, it isn’t. As is almost always the case we these national day/week/month/millenia tales, the whole exercise is nothing more than an excuse to peg product-laden stories into the press under the auspices of topicality. Take this effort, featured in the Daily Express:
Fancy a beer? We’d prefer a biscuit! McVitie’s survey reveals Britain’s love for treats
THE great British biscuit is a vital part of our national lifestyle, a survey reveals.
Most people eat an average of two a day.
And nearly every British household – 99.2 per cent – buys biscuits during the course of a year.
Even young people love a rich tea or a digestive with a cuppa so much that the study of 2,000 people reveals 30 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds prefer a biscuit to a glass of wine or a pint of beer.
Preferring a biscuit over a beer might sound an unlikely choice – although, that said, a real ale doesn’t dunk quite as well as a digestive. Fortunately, the Express’s Nathan Rao (who likely contributed barely a word to this pr-driven story) has the weight of academia behind the claims in his article:
Food scientist Dr Stuart Farrimond said eating biscuits with a cup of tea makes them taste better.
He said: “The science shows us that hot drinks enhance the natural flavours of the biscuit because more flavour molecules are released in the mouth when the biscuit is warmed and moistened.
“In Britain, biscuits have a particular cultural significance and are a customary part of the mid-morning tea break.
“Research has shown that of all foods, biscuits and chocolate are among those that trigger the most pleasure and excitement.”
Of course, the bought-in academic isn’t the only talking head in the article – we also hear from the spokesperson for the company who paid for the spurious survey behind this story, and behind National Biscuit Day:
The research by maker McVitie’s found our choice of biscuit changes depending on our mood.
McVitie’s spokesman Sarah Heynen said: “There’s no doubt that we’re a nation of biscuit lovers.
“We know that our biscuits have a surprisingly important place in people’s lives – people relate to them in a very emotional way.”
That said, toppling a tipple wasn’t the most audacious claim McVities made for their fare during National Biscuit Day – that honour goes to the following, in the Mirror:
No sex please – we prefer biscuits! One in six Britons choose a Hobnob over nookie
Research to mark National Biscuit Day on Thursday also found that a quarter of us would give up booze instead of going without a Chocolate Digestive or two
Biscuit-mad Brits would give up sex for a packet of their favourite dunking snacks, a study has revealed.
One in six would rather have a Hobnob than nookie and a quarter would give up booze instead of going without a Chocolate Digestive or two.
Perhaps fittingly, the Mirror ran their own in-page poll on what their readers would rather do – ‘Have loads of sex’ or ‘Eat loads of biscuits’, with results somewhat crumbling the McVities PR claims:
Still, given the unequivocal nature of the question and the lack of pretence of being representative and bias-free, we can probably place more stock in the Mirror’s straw poll than in McVities’ original opinion survey and ensuing PR campaign.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to dunk a HobNob in a Hobgoblin.