Lincoln biscuits, otherwise known as Lincoln Creams, are short dough biscuits. They are circular in shape with a dotted pattern on top. McVitie’s used to produce their own version of Lincoln biscuits, with the word “Lincoln” embossed in the middle. They are not in any way connected to historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln or the town of Lincoln.
What is it then, that makes these biscuits so popular? How can they even be popular if they are no longer produced? The truth is somewhere in the middle. You see, while it is true that the Lincoln biscuits are no longer produced, there have been numerous petitions and movements asking for their return. How come?
Truth be told, I can see why these biscuits are no longer produced. There is nothing wrong with them, do not get me wrong, however… there is nothing special about them either. They look boring, and probably taste so as well. But alas… beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and there are certainly many people who have enjoyed these biscuits for years.
That is why it was probably very hard for those people to hear that their favourite snacks are being cancelled. Do you watch television shows or some popular series on the various streaming services? Imagine then, that your favourite show gets cancelled before its proper conclusion, just because it did not have high enough ratings or views.
And that, unfortunately, happens a lot in today’s world. We live in a system built upon competition. Competition between the different services and companies is what ensures their products are of high quality and adequately priced. After all, nobody is going to buy one’s products if they are subpar compared to others.
The consumer base will rather spend its money on the competitors’ products if they deem they are of higher quality. In such a system, there is no place for products which are not selling well. It does not matter what type of products they are, be they cars, electronic devices, smartphones or biscuits.
And that is what probably happened to the Lincoln biscuits. It is sad that it happened, but understandable at the same time. Many companies simply cannot afford to produce biscuits for a niche audience if they are not selling well. Some companies certainly can, but that is not good business practice.
So yes, the Lincoln biscuit are popular in a sense that they have a small, but loyal, fanbase. However, since the biscuits were not selling that well, the companies which did produce them, such as McVitie’s, decided that they were not worth the hassle. Sucks for you, fans of the Lincoln biscuits, but hey, all is not lost!
The decision to cancel the Lincoln biscuits has rallied the community. Numerous online petitions have sprung-up, demanding the return of these peculiar snacks. I am not sure how successful these petitions were, but they do show one thing. Despite everything, there still exists a consumer interest for these biscuits.
An important part of any business strategy is marketing. A successful marketing campaign can boost the sales of any product tremendously. Maybe those companies which did produce and sell Lincoln biscuits did not advertise them as much as they should have. This is a common mistake that many companies make, not just in the biscuit industry, but other industries as well.
Sometimes, a company will not update its products for a long period of time. As such products become more and more outdated, more and more consumers start losing interest in them. These companies then conclude that there was no interest for those products to begin with. This is as far from the truth as it gets.
Photo source: BringItBack.com
I admit, some products are simply bad and that is why they sell poorly. But there are a ton of other products which are of high quality and interesting design that get cancelled just because the leadership of a particular company starts to think that there is no interest for them. All such products require is a good update and the sales rise exponentially.
Take Oreo for example. They have brilliant marketing campaigns, and while their product is nothing special really, it still sells like crazy because of its immense popularity. Those who still produce Lincoln biscuits should take note.
Now, I admit that in the beginning I have said that, to me, these biscuits look plain and boring. But on second thought, there is a certain appeal to them. After all, if they taste great, they are great in my book as well. But the shape of the biscuits is quite unique. There is something mesmerizing about the dotted, circular pattern on top.
I do not think I have ever seen such a design. And that is the thing these companies keep missing. They have unique and interesting products on their hands, yet they do not have the foresight to bring them into the modern day and age. Nobody is going to buy such items if they are practically old enough to “drink and smoke”!
I have gone on quite a rant here, but the point is - proper branding (like Paul & Pippa have done for example), marketing and market research can skyrocket the sales of any products if it good enough! And since there are so many online petitions asking for the return of Lincoln biscuits, I am willing to bet that it was a great product. A great product with poor marketing, which probably hurt its sales.
So, if you are a fan of the Lincolns, what does all of this mean for you? It means that there might still be a chance you get to see the return of your favourite snacks. After all, the big companies which manufacture such products are willing to invest their money into new releases with a high enough demand. And a fresh start means new branding!
“But what if I want to eat my Lincoln biscuits right away?” Fret not! There are ways in which you can satiate your hunger for these biscuits, you are just going to have to put more work into getting them (but it is nothing too serious). If you are from Ireland, you will have even less to worry about. If you are from England, you are going to have to do some online shopping.
It used to be McVitie’s. However, the largest remaining producers of Lincoln biscuits is Jacob’s (not to be confused with Jacobina Biscuits), a biscuit company from Ireland. It has been around since the year 1851, when the company was founded by brothers William and Robert Jacob. They still produce Lincoln biscuits, as well as other baked goodies, all of which can be ordered online.
Yes, you can still get them! As I have mentioned above, the Lincoln biscuits are still being produced, it is just that they are no longer being made by McVitie’s, but by Jacob’s instead. You can order a pack or two (or twenty, whatever floats your boat) from many online shops such as Amazon etc.
What if you do not want to order these online? Sure, ordering biscuits online might not be the solution. If that is the case, then you can make your very own batch of Lincoln biscuits. There are man sample recipes online, and I will be posting one such recipe right at the end of this article.
I do not know about you, but I have never heard about a biscuit having so many petitions to bring it back. And believe me when I say, there are a lot of them. As Lincoln Smith, the person who started the petition wrote:
“Lincoln Biscuits are no longer sold in the United Kingdom, I would like this changed.
They aren't available in England other than the odd person (last I heard there was somebody in London) who brings them in a van from Ireland. The truth as far as I could find out some years ago is that there was an accident (a fire I think) in the factory that produced them and by the time it was all sorted they couldn't get their supermarket shelf space back. They are no longer produced by McVitie’s, or by Jacobs in the UK.
Jacobs Ireland make them, but they are not permitted to use the Jacobs name in the UK so they cannot be sold over here.
McVitie’s told me they would never say never and hinted that if there was a big enough number of people who wanted them they may reconsider. I think that there are a big enough number, but we would have to get evidence. I started a Bring it back campaign, but it needs a lot more signatures than the current number. Spread the news and who knows.”
Lincoln has nailed what I have said earlier in the article. If there is a high enough demand for a biscuit, there is not biscuit company in the world which will not sell it. So, if you are one of those people who wish to see a return of the Lincoln biscuits, get typing! Who knows… they might return sooner than you think.
If you would rather bake your own Lincoln biscuits than order them online, I’ve got you covered. There are loads of recipes online, but for this occasion, I have chosen a recipe from Newengland.com for Lincoln ginger biscuits. It is an easy enough recipe to follow, so if you possess some basic culinary skills, you should have no problem making your own batch of biscuits.
Eight ounces (two hundred and fifty grams) of plain organic flour
Two tablespoons of ground ginger
Eight ounces of soft organic brown sugar
Four ounces (a hundred and twenty-five grams) of organic butter
One large organic egg
One level tablespoon bicarbonate of soda
One tablespoon of organic milk
Organic almond halves
If you have your ingredients ready, then we can move on to the next part of the recipe – baking the biscuits!
Take the flour, ginger and sugar and place them inside a mixing bowl and then rub the butter into them
Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the milk
Beat the egg into the mixture (soda and milk)
Take this liquid and add it to the dry mixture, make sure to mix it well with one hand until the dough is formed
Time to flour your hands! After you have done that, roll the dough into balls
Take those balls and place them onto a greased baking tray
Press each ball down once!
Take the almonds, place an almond half on each biscuits/dough ball
Bake the biscuits at a hundred and sixty degrees
And that is it! If you have followed the instructions carefully, you should have your very own batch of biscuits ready. Enjoy them with a cup of your favourite beverage. If you like the taste, why not sign the numerous petitions online? You never know, the Lincolns might just return one day!
And that would be it for today’s article. It was quite interesting seeing all these online petitions for the Lincoln biscuits and researching the product’s current status. It is quite interesting to see how loyal fans of a certain brand or a product can come together to try and bring back something that they have enjoyed.
And who knows how many people could have enjoyed these biscuits as well! If only it had better marketing. I did not know about these biscuits until recently, but now that I do, I wish I had the opportunity to taste, despite my initial cynicism. Hmm, I think I will go sign the petition as well.
Leading image: Gladskikh Tatiana/Shutterstock.com