Hula Hoops, Hunky Dorys, King, McCoys (See UK section), Meanies, Perri, Pom Bear, Rancheros, Skips, Tayto, Velvet Crunch
Address: Kilbrew, Ashbourne, Co. Meath, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 8350 611
Website: www.taytosnacks.ie, www.intersnackgroup.com
This is the account of Hunky Dorys Crisps history, as told by the company's own literature:
"Hunky Dorys is the fastest growing crisp brand and the number 1 crinkle cut crisp brand in Ireland. Established in 1996, Hunky Dorys is a truly satisfying chunky alternative to standard crisps. Hunky Dorys is known for its fun, extrovert and cheeky nature with strong flavours, including the infamous Buffalo flavour, inspired by the herd of Buffalo located near the factory in Co. Meath."Hunky Dorys campaigns over the years have been edgier than your typical crisp brand. A playful and exciting brand, Hunky Dorys has a great sense of humour. The brand loves to engage and entertain its consumers through its marketing campaigns. Most recently, the Hunky Dorys ‘Rugby’ and ‘Football’ campaigns were very favourably received.”
The brand is part of the Largo Foods stable of Crisps companies. They clearly do not see a use for elaborating on the range so, this is Largo Foods history:
“In 1980, Largo Food’s CEO, Raymond Coyle, was supplying Tayto with potatoes which he grew on his family farm just outside Ashbourne, Co Meath. Today, he owns the company!
“When Tayto decided to switch its potato suppliers in 1981, Raymond Coyle, along with many others, lost his potato contract with Tayto. Seeing this as an opportunity Coyle decided to set up his own snack-food business.
“At the time, I was of the view that, with Tayto holding 90 per cent of the market, there had to be an opportunity for a new entrant to the snack-food market.”
“Largo Foods was established in Ashbourne, Co. Meath by Raymond Coyle in 1983. Its first branded product was “Cottage Crisps”. Then, in 1984 Largo Food purchased the Perri brand, and was on its journey to become the leading company in the snack-foods industry.
“Subsequently, Largo Foods purchased the “Sam Spudz” brand in 1996 when it acquired Irish Snack Foods, based in Donegal.
“The Donegal plant was dedicated to the manufacture of extruded and fried snack products while the Ashbourne plant focused on potato crisp manufacturing. The launch of the infamous Hunky Dorys crisps range in the same year saw Largo Foods further cement its position as a significant player in the Irish snack-food market.
“In the early 2004, Largo Foods began producing some of the crisps and snacks for the then owned C&C plc brands, Tayto and King. Growth of the company was also aided by winning private label snack-food business with large multiple retailers in the UK market.
“In 2005, Tayto closed its crisp factory and Largo Foods won the contract for the manufacture of the whole range of Tayto products. The story continues in August, 2006, when Largo Foods acquired the Tayto and King brands from C&C plc for €62m.
“This acquisition transformed Largo Foods into the leading snack-food company in Ireland with a close to 50% market share, employing 550 people and an annual turnover in the region of 100 million Euro.”
Hunky Dorys Buffalo Crisps
Buffalo wings are chicken, buffalo blue is cheese. So, to me, these were remarkably unique and featured a quite incredible claim - There is even a picture of buffalo on the bag. No-one could be criticised for concluding the aim was to produce buffalo flavoured crisps. The actual flavour was sweet, slightly spicy, and reminiscent of a sauce rather than a prairie roaming beast of burden.
Hunky Dorys Cheddar Cheese & Spring Onion Crisps
Ireland is one of the originators of flavoured crisps, and cheese and onion is an undoubted fave of the Emerald Isle. These were no different. The cheese was balanced very well with onion, with the only let-down, the amount of oil that undoubtedly infused within the flavour.
Hunky Dorys Sour Cream & Onion Crisps
Thickly cut ridged crisps invariably allow for additional seasoning to stick within the ripples. There was an oily creaminess to these crisps, but best of all, they managed to match the strong onion flavour evenly.