Thomas Tunnock formed the company Tunnock's in 1890, when he purchased a baker's shop in Uddingston. The company expanded in the 1950s, and it was at this time that the core products were introduced to the lines.
The company has continued to expand, and now employs 550 staff. It is currently headed by Boyd Tunnock CBE, grandson of Thomas. Since 2005, Tunnock's also sponsors the annual rally held on the Isle of Mull called The Tour of Mull, run by the 2300 Club.
The Tunnock's Tea Cake is a sweet food popular in Great Britain. They are often served with a cup of tea or coffee.
The product consists of a small round shortbread biscuit covered with a dome of a whipped egg white concoction similar to marshmallow. This is then encased in a thin layer of milk or plain chocolate and wrapped in a distinctive red and silver foil paper for the more popular milk chocolate variety, with blue and gold wrapping for the plain.
The name tea cake is somewhat confusing as generally a teacake is taken to mean a sweet bread roll with dried fruit added to the mix, which is usually served toasted and buttered. A Tunnock's Tea Cake bears no relation to this product.
Products similar to the Tunnock's Teacake include the "Mallowpuff" (sold in New Zealand by Griffins Foods Ltd), the Israeli winter confectionary krembo, the Whippet cookie and Viva Puff in Canada the Negerkuss in Germany (more politically correct: "Schaumkuss") and mallomars in the United States.
A caramel wafer is a bar consisting of 5 layers of wafer, interspersed with 4 layers of caramel. The bar itself is coated in chocolate: both milk and plain chocolate version are available. The milk chocolate version is wrapped in red and gold coloured foil, whilst the plain chocolate wrapping is coloured blue and gold. The wrappers of the milk chocolate version bear the wording "more than 4,000,000 of these biscuits made and sold every week".
The other products in Tunnock's lines are largely based on the core products. The Caramel Log is similar to the Caramel Wafer, but with the addition of roasted coconut to the outside of the bar. Wafer Creams and Florida Orange have chocolate and orange flavoured cream in place of the caramel.
A Snowball is similar to the Tea Cake, with the addition of grated coconut to the exterior of a soft chocolate shell but with no biscuit base.