The luck of the Irish? Keogh’s Crisps hopes to charm UK with Shamrock chips

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Keogh's hopes to gain traction in the UK with its Shamrock flavored potato chip
Keogh's hopes to gain traction in the UK with its Shamrock flavored potato chip

Related tags: Potato chip, United states

Irish family-run business Keogh’s Crisps will use St Patrick’s Day as a springboard to launch its Shamrock & Sour Cream potato chip into the UK market for the first time.

The firm launched its gluten-free shamrock flavored chips in Ireland last March for St Patrick’s Day as a limited edition product but demand pushed it into long-term place among three other core flavors.

The product has now been rolled out across 681 UK Tesco stores for the month of March and has been stocked in Selfridges too.

Speaking to BakeryandSnacks.com, Keogh’s Crisps business development manager Christina Keogh said the St Patrick’s Day launch should lure consumers but said there are long-term plans to drive business.

“The real long-term opportunities are where there are a lot of Irish consumers, or generational Irish,”​ Keogh said.

“We’d really love to increase in the US, although that would mean a different level of capacity. It’s also a very large market. For now, we want to be secure in the UK market. It’s better to be very good or fantastic in your home markets before looking beyond. We don’t want to be in anything where we can’t put in 100%.”

She said Keogh’s Crisps had upped production by around 25% for its UK launch.

Unique taste, gluten-free and on-farm production

The business development director said that feedback from in-store tastings has indicated that it is the end to end provenance of the business that holds appeal with UK consumers.

“Our production is on-farm, we use locally-sourced ingredients and that we are a family business. These are things that are very important to consumers at the moment,” ​Keogh said.

The shamrock flavor is also something unique and interesting to in the market, she added.

“It was quite a different flavor to bring to the fore. It was a bit more complicated because the shamrock doesn’t have an immediate flavor. When you break down the flavor profiled though it has a subtle garlic taste.

“We trialed about eight or nine different flavor combinations and discovered it worked very well with sour cream.”

If the product appeals to the masses more Shamrock flavor combinations could be developed, although it is not an idea that has been entertained at this stage, she added.

International stretch

Four flavors of Keogh’s Crisps – Dubliner Cheese & Onion, Atlantic Sea Salt & Irish Cider Vinegar, Roast Beef & Irish Stout and Shamrock & Sour Cream – are currently stocked nationwide across Ireland in large retailers and smaller outlets. Its products are also sold in US delicatessen Dean & Deluca across Manhattan, supermarket chain Spinneys in Dubai and online shop QVC in Germany.

Keogh revealed that a pallet of potato chips has also been sent to a well-known retailer in Hong Kong to go on sale from Friday for a three-week trial period.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Snacks

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