Crisp Flavour Pioneers
Although there are records and indeed, memories, of early seasoned and spiced Potato Chips in the US, it was Britain and Ireland that saw the early explosion of the recognised flavours we all see today.
Crisp and Chip Hero Number 1
A Leicestershire butcher named Henry Walker agreed with his colleague Mr Gerrard that with meat rationed during World War II, and times tough, they needed to diversify.
Walker’s Crisps was born and by 1954 the seasoning and experimenting led to Britain’s most popular flavour – The Cheese and Onion Crisp.
Crisp and Chip Hero Number 2
William Alexander, an Arbroath baker, had similar thoughts to Mr Walker during War time. Naming his new Potato Crisps company - Golden Wonder, after the local potato, Alexander dispensed with the little blue salt filled bag made popular by Smith's Crisps, to develop and mass market, Ready Salted Crisps.
Crisp and Chip Hero Number 3
Our next Crisp hero was the owner of Irish Crisps Company Tayto. Joe ‘Spud’ Murphy developed a technology that added seasoning during Crisps manufacture. Joe and employee, Seamus Burke, developed the first mass produced flavored crisps – Salt and Vinegar.
The largest US Potato Chips companies travelled to Ireland to invest in Tayto’s invention and made Spud a very rich man.
Crisps are called “Tayto’s” in Ireland just as vacuum cleaners are often called “Hoovers”. Part of the reason for this is Mr Murphy sold the Northern Ireland production rights and the Hutchinson family began to produce a similar range of products under the same trading name, completely separate to Spud’s business.