Mince pies and bakewells and cakes, oh my — you’ll find these and more in the Mr. Kipling product lineup. This British company has been busy baking and bringing scrumptious joy to several generations now. During the winter holidays, they are especially popular.
Forty-three years ago a revolution in how people shopped for their fine baked goods took place in Britain. Mr. Kipling cakes and tarts were introduced to supermarkets with their ads proclaiming them to be “Exceedingly Good Cakes.” It must have been true since nine years later they were the market leader in the UK and have held that position to this day. During the brand’s long history, ownership of the company that makes it has changed. Today, the brand is one of many marketed by Premier Foods, but the baked goodies are still produced by Manor Bakeries Ltd., a subsidiary of Premier Foods since 2007 and the original maker.
In case you’re wondering, there is no Mr. Kipling. Like many brand names (such as “Aunt Jemima”), that’s all it is, i.e., a brand name, meant to give the brand a more personal touch. In fact, the iconic mister has never shown his face, even in TV ad spots. Even the introduction of a “Mrs. Kipling” a few months back in a new ad campaign in the UK did not reveal him; he remained a mystery, seen only in the background busily baking those yummy cakes and tarts.
Even so, 60% of UK households have a stash of Mr. Kipling products on hand for teatime.
The most popular Mr. Kipling product is the Cherry Bakewell. But what the heck is a bakewell? Well, that depends. Sometimes it’s a baked snack. There are several kinds, with the cherry kind being a small cake, covered with a top layer of icing and having a half-cherry “eye” centered in that icing. Sometimes, “Bakewell” is the name of a town in Derbyshire, a county in Britain. The town claims to be the home of this tasty treat.
What’s so special about these little cakes and tarts? First, the company sets high standards, producing some of the highest quality pre-packaged baked snacks around. Second, they only use natural ingredients, with hydrogenated vegetable oil being phased out in favor of more healthy oils.
For the winter holidays, Mr. Kipling cranks up production of their mince pies (both crust topped and icing topped) and Christmas Cake, which is a moister alternative to the heavy fruitcakes so popular this time of year and with a white icing that is as flavorful as it is attractive. Plus, they make a wonderfully moist rum and raisin cake that’s sure to add a bit of fun to your holiday. Woo hoo!
During the rest of the year, they bake tons of lemon slices, apple tarts, Angel Slices, Bakewell Slices, and more. The company is known as an innovator, so who knows what they’ll come up with next?
One thing is for sure, teatime is not the same without ’em. You may never eat Twinkies again. Enjoy!
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