Shortbread has always been one of my weaknesses. So perfectly simple: mainly butter, flour, sugar, salt, sometimes vanilla. There to munch on its own or as the excuse for playing with last season’s jams.
The fact that Walkers still rules the shortbread world has always impressed me. So the fact that they manufacture another UK brand, newly USDA-certified organic Duchy Originals shortbread, piqued my interest.
To my surprise I learned that Prince Charles created the Duchy Originals brand in 1992, in the UK, with the goals: “is good, does good, tastes good” credo. The brand crosses multiple food categories, and gives about $5 million annually to charity, by donating profits through The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation.
Per the company’s PR firm, who supplied samples for my dutiful tasting, Duchy Originals shortbread is produced at market rates and does not receive any special discounts due to HRH Prince Charles’ association with the brand. I found it particularly compelling that the Duchy Originals brand needs to offer a value proposition to succeed … like any other brand. (OK they have built-in marketing muscle, but still, the product needs to deliver!)
Delicious organic shortbread flavors
Right off the bat, I loved that 2 round shortbread cookies are packaged with the flat sides facing each other. You (meaning I) could pull out a “sandwich” of shortbread, slather jam or nutella between, and chomp. The line is perfectly balanced with those classic flavors:
- Stem ginger is loaded with candied ginger.
- Lemon shortbread
- Oaten biscuits, a more savory, more textured cookie
- Highland all butter shortbread
They come in 5.3 oz boxes and individual grab-and-go packs, nice for offices.
The brand’s tagline is “A partnership preserving our heritage.” Between its commitment to doing good (all organic and charitable) and its clever approach to production (via Walkers) and distribution (in the UK, via Waitrose) that is one tagline that sounds good.
NPR shares more about their first taste of the Duchy Originals brand.