How Lotus Bakeries choked on a Biscoff cookie

Jan Boone, top executive of Lotus Bakeries / photo Lotus Bakeries
Jan Boone, top executive of Lotus Bakeries / photo Lotus Bakeries

In order to become a global brand, Lotus Bakeries is replacing the name ‘speculoos’ on its packaging with the more international brand Biscoff. A decision that the company quickly had to nuance after a small media storm in its Belgian home market...

 

"Name does not disappear altogether"

A casual announcement by Lotus Bakeries' top executive Jan Boone in the weekend edition of business newspaper De Tijd on Saturday soon took on a life of its own on social and other media. The CEO announced very ambitious plans: Lotus is to become one of the largest brands in the world, and to make that happen, the original name ‘speculoos’ must make way for the American brand Biscoff, which refers to 'biscuit with coffee'. This is already the case on the international packaging, but will now be applied to packaging in the Benelux and France as well.
 

"The dream is to turn Biscoff into a global brand, one of the biggest brands in the world. If the biscuit is called Biscoff in the whole world, we will make that statement," says Boone. But Belgian consumers reacted quickly: on social media the hashtags #biscoff and #jesuisspeculoos became trending immediately. It forced Jan Boone to rectify the situation. "We didn't expect such an emotional response, but I see it as a compliment," he says to newspaper HLN. "People feel connected to our brand. I hope they will become proud, just like us, of the fact that a Flemish company has now truly created a global brand". He emphasises that the name speculoos does not completely disappear from the packaging: under the Biscoff logo comes the slogan 'the original speculoos’. "That was decided months ago. The last thing we want to do is deny our 'roots'," says the top executive.