Address: Barnard Road, Bowthorpe, Norwich,
Norfolk NR5 9JP, United Kingdom
Phone: 0800 616996
Email: Contact Form
The famous brand’s story started in 1978 in the United States when founder Cameron Healy started selling cheese and roasted nuts from his beaten up camper van along Interstate 5. His aim was to provide consumers with high quality, unique snack products.
Kettle® Chips themselves were inspired by some delicious, hand fried potato chips Cameron tasted on a beach in Hawaii. Recreating the simple process he had witnessed on the beach, Cameron launched Kettle® Chips in 1982, a premium crisp, hand cooked in sunflower oil, with thicker slices and seasonings made with authentic ingredients.
Cameron brought Kettle® Chips to the UK in 1988 following a six-week motorcycle trip through Europe with his son. He set up production in Norwich, Norfolk where the company remains today.
In 2010, Kettle Foods Ltd was bought by US snack company Diamond Foods Inc. Now over 100 million bags of Kettle® Chips are produced in the UK a year to the same recipe Cameron created over 30 years ago.
What began as a quest for a great tasting snack made the old fashioned way, remains true to its roots and today is more popular than ever. Kettle® Chips leads the premium snack sector in its new product development and its commitment to producing the best possible quality snack.
When creating a new seasoning, Kettle® Chips’ head chef Chris Barnard sources the best tasting ingredients possible, including the perfect potatoes to give the distinctive golden colour, crunch and flavour of a Kettle® Chip. Seasonings are chosen to complement rather than mask the rich taste of the potatoes.
90% of the potatoes are grown within a 50 mile radius of our factory in Norwich. When they arrive at Kettle Foods, the potatoes are hand inspected, to ensure their high quality, then thickly sliced with their skins on and cooked in batches in non-hydrogenated sunflower oil that is high in polyunsaturates and low in saturated fat. The slices are carefully tended by experienced chip fryers who turn the chips with a tool inspired by a garden rake for even cooking.
The chips are then flavoured with the great tasting, authentic seasonings and sealed in distinctive coloured bags.
Kettle Chips Sea Salt & Crushed Black
The best crisps balance a flavour combo by having similar hits of the taste while eating or bouncing the ingredients from one to the other. These crisps had the usual warm potato taste and the flavour did bounce between salt and pepper, which was great, but it happened all too infrequently for my liking. This meant some crisps were perfect. Others were potato flavoured. I actually ground some pepper in the bag myself, which sorted it out a treat. This is always an available solution, especially to salt-less salty crisps, but it wasn’t my job, so Kettle get knocked down a mark.
Kettle Chips Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup
A Nose Plunge Test was not required for these crisps. As soon as the bag was opened a distinctive smell burst free. It was indeed the sweet tingly smell of maple syrup, as promised on the bag description. It is a North American flavour that the manufacturer introduced to provide their crisps eating public with a new experience, for which they should be applauded. The essence was clearly of maple syrup and there was even a gentle backdrop of bacon.
Kettle Veg Chips Sea Salt & Balsamic
If you have read other reviews on this page you will know that the folk at Chips and Crisps Towers do not like the inference by the Chips industry that Vegetable Crisps are a healthy alternative. We obviously would not accuse kettle of that, but there you go. The nutrition label is no better or worse than most Potato Chips. As for the flavouring, well the best thing said is this will surely be a fad – Veg Crisps are Veg Crisps, trying to add flavour descriptions is frankly, fruitless. They just taste like the vegetables they are made of
Kettle Chips Mature Cheddar & Red Onion
A Nose Plunge Test did not reveal much. I was expecting an onion aroma, but there was nothing. Similarly, the red onion part of the combo seemed to have disappeared from my test bag. There was a pleasant creamy cheese taste that would probably register on the medium to mild scale rather than mature. Oddly there did seem to be a slight onion aftertaste. It should be said that although these did not really taste too much like the flavour written on the bag, they were very enjoyable.
Kettle Chips Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a vinegar aroma. Not balsamic, but a random generic vinegar. The crisps had a good balance between salt and said vinegar. While they had no identifiable balsamic flavouring, it was tart. The key to a good salt and vinegar crisp is most certainly balance. Often, a bag of this variety features far too much salt or far too much malt vinegar. These crisps were mild and inoffensive. Nothing striking to make you rush back for more, but a good balance, nevertheless. Although the flavouring disappeared in favour of oily potato after a few bites, they make for a very enjoyable sharing bowl.
Kettle Chips Lightly Salted Crisps
A Nose Plunge Test revealed an oily potato aroma. This was surprising. I was not expecting anything. There was another surprise. The only taste they seemed to have was of greasy potato. Okay, there are people that doctors advise not to eat salt, but if you want a snack that tastes of just potato, why not have a potato?
Kettle Chips Sweet Chilli & Sour Cream
The bright red bag drew me in straight away, but then came the flavour description. I have long pondered the missing range of spicy crisps in the Kettle portfolio. The crusty surfaces were coated with a fine dusting of brown seasoning powder, and the crunch was consistent and firm. But what of the all-important flavour? Well, saving the best till last was a striking creamy backdrop to a slightly sweet Thai Chilli sauce flavouring. This posed a small problem – I like sweet chilli to have an abundance of familiar taste, but these were tempered by a readily identifiable creamy accompaniment. That is not to express disappointment, the variety deserves absolute credit for nailing the bag description. And more importantly, it worked brilliantly. I didn’t think I would approve but there was even a residual spicy taste after a delightful creamy chilli taste.
Kettle Chips Sour Cream & Sweet Onion
A Nose Plunge Test revealed an odd aroma - A bit like dried parsley in a cardboard box. The sour cream aspect of the crisp seemed a little overwhelmed by salty onion rather than the sweet onion promised. The sweet onion was around somewhere, but it wasn't very noticeable. Maybe it was hiding in the cardboard box.
Kettle Veg Chips Lightly Salted
Vegetable Chips have been introduced as a healthier alternative to Potato Crisps by some snack producers (not suggesting Kettle have done this, of course). They are not! I will not say anymore than that except, look at the nutrition values and compare. Now for the flavour – well, as regular readers will know, we do not like to include personal opinions here; instead we prefer to say whether the contents of the bag taste like the description on the bag. These tasted like different vegetables
Kettle Truffled Cheese & a Splash of English Sparkling Wine Crisps
First things first, Kettle produce brilliantly striking bag designs – these were black and gold with sparkly gold bubbles. Perfect design, but were they perfectly flavoured? I will admit at this juncture that I am not the best truffle taste tester – I don’t like the taste and think it’s too strong for a crisps variety. However, I am not here to criticise flavours, just describe their descriptive worthiness. And to be fair, these were fairly faithful. The wine was overwhelmed dramatically, but there was a slight hint of fizz as the crisps were finished. There was also an underlying creaminess, which could be fairly described as cheese, but the truffle dominated dramatically.
Kettle Tastes of Britain Sunday Lunch
Roast Chicken & Thyme Crisps
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a crispy roasted chicken smell. The dominant flavour was roasted chicken in gravy. I am aware gravy wasn’t an ingredient or a titled addition, but to achieve a Sunday roast taste, the flavouring combo mixed well to get there. The thyme was possibly evident, but I would say it hinted towards oniony herbs, rather than a defined thyme. It was a bit hit or miss with the description, but they were tasty.