ARNOTT’S BISCUITS: BAKING FOR THE NATION
In many ways, the history of Arnott’s is a history of modern Australia. From humble colonial beginnings through to World War I, weathering the Great Depression, World War II and providing jobs during post-war reconstruction and immigration, to supporting modern-day snacking with healthier options. Arnott’s encapsulates the changing fortunes of Australia as a constant companion for many Aussies.
It all started in 1865 – armed with little more than a knack for baking and an optimistic willingness to succeed, William Arnott opened his first bakery in Hunter Street, Newcastle. In those days, when a typical Aussie biscuit was made to survive travel and tough times rather than taste, it was fair to say a biscuit of quality stood out from the rest.
According to Australian folklorist Warren Fahey, the process of biscuit-making during the colonial days involved mixing “the [flour, water and salt] powder with pig’s blood, egg powder, more flour and salt, and then fashion them into large pancakes which were fried in pig’s fat…”
William’s skillful baking and focus on quality ingredients garnered him loyal supporters and fast-growing popularity among an audience hungry for deliciously different biscuits.
An Original Classic Milk Arrowroot
One of the most popular biscuits in the fledgling Arnott’s range was the classic Milk Arrowroot.
Inspired by his Scottish heritage, William used the starchy arrowroot vegetable as the key ingredient in these famous oval biscuits.
A sensation in the late 1800s, this biscuit was a major contributing factor to the success of Arnott’s at the time, enabling the expansion into Homebush, and eventually, to nationwide sites.
Locally loved, locally made
The Marleston bakery in Adelaide has been described as a ‘boutique bakery.’
Opened in 1947, it produces a range of specialty biscuits and operates as Arnott’s chocolate-making site.
Nine thousand tonnes of chocolate are produced each year at Marleston and this chocolate is used to make Tim Tam biscuits and a range of other Aussie chocolate biscuit favourites.
In New South Wales, the factory at Huntingwood occupies an area of 15.9 hectares. It has capacity for approximately 60,000 tonnes and has five lines that produce a range of Arnott’s classics, including Tim Tam, Jatz, Shapes and more!
Arnott’s is committed to local manufacturing, with more than 99% of the products they sell in Australia made in Australia, using local and imported ingredients. The Arnott’s Group is the largest buyer of soft wheat in Australia and works directly with local soft wheat farmers in regions such as the Riverina and Liverpool Plains in New South Wales, Kangaroo Island in South Australia, and the Darling Downs in Southern Queensland.
Beyond working with their brilliant produce, they also gather insights on the role of the climate on the annual harvest and its impact on the soft wheat they produce.
In 2021, The Arnott’s Group has set a target to sustainably grow and source 100% of their key ingredients, namely flour, sugar, oil, dairy and cocoa products by 2035. This target will continue their proud tradition of evolving their products and practices to support the needs of Australians today and in the future.