Pladis has renamed its research and development (R&D) centre in High Wycombe after Lord Hector Laing, the long-time chairman of United Biscuits, and the grandson of Alexander Grant, who first produced the Digestive biscuit at McVitie’s.

TV star Jamie Laing, whose great-great-grandfather was Alexander Grant, attended a ceremony yesterday (14 September) in High Wycombe to unveil a plaque in honour of Hector Laing and celebrate the 125th anniversary of McVitie’s Digestive biscuits. Hector Laing was the chairman of United Biscuits, which is now part of Pladis, from 1972 to 1990.

The decision comes as Pladis wanted to recognise its 300-year baking and confectionery heritage and to acknowledge the former innovators who helped to create its products.

“By naming a key business centre after one of the most important people in our company’s history, we’re bringing together our rich heritage and our future,” said Pladis CEO Cem Karakas. “Central to our company’s story is the contribution of our founders and generations of employees who created our rich heritage. Just like us, they worked to create little bites of happiness for people everywhere to enjoy and their legacy continues through our R&D work today.”

Pladis is aiming to build upon its capabilities in R&D as part of its global expansion strategy to be the fastest-growing company in its sector.

Over the last 18 months, Pladis has invested in two specialist baking and chocolate R&D centres in the UK and Belgium, as well as its R&D centre in Turkey.