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 King Crisps history, as told by the company's own literature:
"First created back in 1963 in Parnell Square in Dublin, King Crisps maintain the same great tasting tradition today as they did back then. Known as, 'The Crisp Lovers Crisp', for that unique King Cheese and Onion flavour. King Crisps are the number 2 selling crisp pack in Dublin and King Pub are the preferred offering in pubs the length and breathe of the country.
"The iconic red King bag is recognisable everywhere and has witnessed merely subtle changes since its inception in the 1960's."
The company is now part of the Largo Foods group of Crisps companies. They clearly do not see a use for the origins or background of the companies they own.
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.”
King Cheese & Onion Crisps
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a very well-balanced aroma of cheese and onion. The first thing to note was they were a little weak on flavour individually. However, a few at a time and a cracking cheese and onion, with a good balance between the two main ingredients, emerged. The cheese was meaty and the onion mild but zingy as part of the impressive combo.