Who actually invented McVitie's Jaffa Cakes?

+5 votes

Who actually invented McVitie's Jaffa Cakes?

Wikipedia: Jaffa Cakes says they stated making them in 1927, but no mention of who invented or created these.

asked in The Tree House by L J Cypher G2G6 Mach 8 (85.9k points)
Guess what I happen to be eating with my coffee this morning? Feeling a little blah with the storm and the chill, so I had to have an unconventional breakfast.

Although Jaffa cakes are usually orange flavour, limited edition flavours have been available, such as lemon-and-lime, strawberry and blackcurrant.


I would love the blackcurrant version, maybe the lemon-lime, but they can keep the strawberry.

(Arnott's also occasionally offer limited editions of Tim Tams .. something I have taken advantage of in gifting to friends.P 

They usually credit director John Longlands, but might be someone else too
LJ, you might want to add tags like Scotland, Chocolate, Notables, Connectors, etc. to attract more attention to this thread.
Anything chocolate definitely gets my attention!

5 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer
I'm sure it was developed within the company. It was probably a combined effort by a number of people whose job it was to create new products.
answered by Deb Durham G2G6 Pilot (708k points)
selected by anonymous
+3 votes
Surely they were just developed by the company.
answered by anonymous G2G6 Pilot (252k points)
Someone within the company must've had the idea in the first place.  The quest for knowledge demands we find the answer!

It's a moral imperative.  smiley

Indubitably! laugh

+4 votes
The name, McVitie's, comes from the original Scottish biscuit maker, McVitie & Price, Ltd., established in 1830 on Rose Street in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Source-Wikipedia  They have additional details about the history of the product.
answered by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (1.8m points)
+4 votes

Okay, I've added a profile for Robert McVitie, founder of the company, to get things rolling.

answered by Greg Slade G2G6 Pilot (192k points)

I tried twice to use the "Contact Us" form on the McVitie's web site to ask them who invented Jaffa Cakes, but the form isn't working for me. Does anyone else want to try?

I tried twice to use the "Contact Us" form  . . . Does anyone else want to try?


It's sitting there churning right now.  I'll see how long it does that. 

Of course, we COULD try their email address direct:  pladisglobal.com

It's still sitting there churning (it's been 2 hours), so I'm going to quit it by closing the tab.  I think I'll try an email tomorrow.
+3 votes

This thread got me thinking that it would be fun to have a connection list that, instead of being presidents of this or that country, or governors of this or that state, would be inventors of favourite goodies1. After all, goodies bring such happiness to our lives, and wouldn't it only be fair to give credit to all those people who invented such amazing deliciousness?

Oddly enough, though, an awful lot of companies like to play coy with admitting who actually invented their biggest-selling products. 

Now, granted, it's possible that they were all invented by committees, but I doubt that that happens very often. (Recall that one definition of a camel is a horse that was invented by a committee.) In my experience, creative ideas tend to come from individuals, or sometimes two or three people working together. Granted, working out mass production and so on take lots of people, but I suspect that the original ideas usually come from individuals or very small teams. 

I suspect that the real problem is that company lawyers say things like "Oh, you can't give out the name of the person who invented that! Their great-grandchildren will sue for back royalties." I say "rubbish". For one thing, patents are only good for 17 years, so once a product has been on the market long enough, anyone can put out a copy (although they can't use the trademark). For another thing, if somebody invents something and then subsequently sells the recipe (or their company) to another company, then the rights to the product go with the sale, and nobody can come back later and sue. (Granted, they might weep and gnash their teeth that their great grandpappy didn't demand a higher price, but legally, they have no recourse.)

All that said, if you can find out who invented your favourite goodies, please, uh, do something or other. I'm pretty sure I wrote a footnote about what to do. Now where did I put that?

  1. "Whose favourite goodies?" I hear you ask. That's easy: yours. Make a list of the goodies you love best (one, two, three, or however many, although if your list goes past a dozen then it's probably time to stop making a list of goodies and eat lunch), then see if you can find out who invented each, and then look to see if they have a WikiTree profile, and add one for them if they don't. Then please reply to this comment with the name of the inventor (and the goodie) and a link to their profile. But please don't anybody start connecting them yet! I'm planning to post a new connector list on Friday, and it wouldn't be any fun for the connectors if the profiles were already connected, would it? (You can source. By all means, source, add categories, write biographies, post photos... just hold off on the actual connectionisationificating, if you don't mind...)
answered by Greg Slade G2G6 Pilot (192k points)
edited by Greg Slade

Well Greg that would have to include all foods that have a known inventor/creator like Green Bean Casserole an American Thanksgiving staple now a days.  Dorcas Reilly (1926–2018)

With sub-categories like: Drinks, Main Courses, Snacks, Cookies, Desserts, ad nauseam.  At the rate we're adding categories, me thinks soon there shall be more of them than Profiles.  LOL


Sno-caps are good, but I do not see any further information about their creators.

Since you actually know who invented green bean casserole, by all means create a profile for Dorcas Reilly, and I'll be glad to add her to the connection list message on Friday.

(Personally, I don't have any intention of creating categories for every kind of food, especially since we have no idea who came up with most of them. I'd probably use a category like Inventors, or maybe even a subcategory of Food Inventors, or something like that.)
Much as I'd love to Greg, I am in the process of cleaning my older profiles (i.e. Fairbanks) on my Watch List from when I was a newbie, about 4,000 right now.  Then I have 5,000 plus names in other trees I need add to WikiTree and right now, family and friends need to come first.

I posted this question originally so we, you know who, could carry on our conversation about tasty comestibles and stop hi-jacking another post.

In the meantime, Keep Posting and Carry On.  LOL

(Personally, I don't have any intention of creating categories for every kind of food, especially since we have no idea who came up with most of them. I'd probably use a category like Inventors, or maybe even a subcategory of Food Inventors, or something like that.)


"Creative Cooks".  cheeky 

This is not a sensible use of categories.

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