Taking a break from the takeover rumours that have dogged United Biscuits, chief executive Eric Nicoli has been doing a spot of number- crunching with his marketing team. It is not known how many biscuits Mr Nicoli gets through every day, but on the whole, according to the company, men account for 49 per cent of total biscuit consumption.

Despite suffering from a squeeze on margins, biscuits are still big business and the Brits eat more per head than their Continental cousins. According to the company, more than 90 million biscuits are eaten each day in the UK - which crumbles down to 1,500 biscuits a second, or 11.4kg per head per year. That compares with the European average of only 8.1kg, or just 2.1kg in abstemious Norway.

With the biscuit market now worth an impressive pounds 1.6bn annually - a rise of 63 per cent in 10 years - it looks as if UB will remain an attractive buy.

More musical chairs at CS First Boston, which has not had a happy time of it since Steve Thompson of UBS replaced Dan Mead as head of research. Feathers were ruffled as Mr Thompson was appointed over Albert Richards, who was widely expected to get the job. Mr Richards reacted by taking off for Salomon to head its research and proceeded to recruit new faces from his old firm.

Things then seemed to settle for CSFB - until late last week, when media analyst Meg Geldens walked off to ABN Amro Hoare Govett.

Selling "portion-controlled" oven-ready meat is not exactly the hottest or hippest occupation for a former owner of the Hard Rock chain of restaurants. But for Barry Cox, now chairman of meat-supplier Whitchurch Group, which floated last year, breaking into meaty markets is more his style these days.

Yesterday he announced the acquisition of RG Foods, owned by his old friend Richard Thompson, which makes and sells beefburgers to up-market ventures throughout the country, including the memorabilia-stuffed Hard Rock chain, now owned by leisure and entertainment group Rank.

The deal was a sweet one for Mr Cox. Not only does it bring together a second generation of Coxes and Thompsons - Barry's father used to be in business with Richard's - it was also a lot less painful than his efforts to sell the Hard Rock chain.

Mr Cox was about to sell the chain to Pleasurama just before lifting off on honeymoon. Nuptial bliss was disturbed by a fax that informed him the whole deal was off. Ever dedicated to business, Mr Cox managed to put things back on the right footing while on his honeymoon.

Max Taylor, chief executive of insurance broker Willis Corroon, has been dropping back into old habits. With his plan to cut costs by pounds 26m on track, he dusted down his guitar to play at his silver wedding anniversary party last week.

Before he found satisfaction in insurance, Mr Taylor played in a "band or two" and was involved in a company that managed bands. One of the firm's charges was the successful heavy-metal group Hawkwind.

Mr Taylor has no plans to go back into the rock business, though, and says he will just keep on playing for his own amusement. After all, he still has a lot of cost-cutting to go and a new chairman to find.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer the industry can flesh out an existence
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Customer Relations Officer

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Jemma Gent: Project Coordinator

£12 - £15 Hourly Rate: Jemma Gent: In this role you will report to the Head of...

Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable