Address: Tanfield Lea Ind. Est North, Stanley Co. Durham DH9 9XS
KP Snacks doesn't exist in its most recognisable form any longer, and indeed didn't prior to Intersnack's takeover because it had already been taken over by United Biscuits, it is a complicated company to write a history for, so we will keep it simple.
Kenyon Produce, as KP was originally known, was a father and son operation that opened in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, in 1853. They originally produced sweets, jam and pickles.
By the early 1990s, the company was known as Kenyon & Son and Craven Ltd. The company became roasted and salted nut specialists, and remain that way today.
The company dominated the cinema snack market during the golden age of film and by the early 1950s they were Britain's foremost salty nut and snack producer supplier.
The company was taken over by United Biscuits in 1968, but the KP subsidiary continued to expand into the specialist Crisps and Snacks market.
In 2012, for a reported half a billion pounds, the company was sold to German snack and food distribution specialists Intersnack.
Also under the KP Snacks umbrella in the UK, and under the Intersnack umbrella worldwide, are McCoy's, Popchips and Tyrrell's. You can go to their pages directly from the links below.
KP Frisps Salt & Vinegar
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a slightly smart Vinegar aroma. A Crisp Licka Test revealed a very sweet Vinegar taste. This was replicated by the flavour, which lacked salt, yet left a salty after-taste. The Vinegar dominated, but it was mild and sweet.
KP Frisps Cheese & Onion
A Nose Plunge Test suggested the very slightest Cheese smell, but it was not significant. The taste was a little more rewarding. It was a sort of warming, potatoey flavour with a hint of Cheese and a very very tiny undercurrent of onion. They were also, oddly, sweet.
KP Frisps Ready Salted
A Nose Plunge Test suggested a smell somewhat reminiscent of a deep fat fryer with used oil, prior to re-using. There was a potato flavour, and maybe the slightest hint of salt, but overall the flavour was lacking in all the important areas.
KP Discos Cheese & Onion
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a resounding yes, to the question: Did they smell of Cheese & Onion? Admittedly it was not strong, but we could identify and separate the aromas. Unfortunately, the taste was not quite as impressive. The Cheese flavouring was evident, and it was also quite a strong Cheddar variety, but the Onion was not as readily apparent.
KP Discos Salt & Vinegar
If you poured some Vinegar in an empty cardboard box, closed it up, and then went back to sniff it a few days later, it would probably be similar to the Nose Plunge Test for this snack. There was Salt and there was Vinegar, but it was so very very mild that the main flavour was potato.
KP Discos Prawn Cocktail
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a rather strong and imposing aroma. It was a sort of tomatoey, paprika sweetness that hinted towards generic Prawn Cocktail Crisps flavouring. The taste was similar, but there was a striking sweetness. It was a strong version of standard Prawn Cocktail flavouring, which of course tastes little like Prawn Cocktail sauce, but is random enough to be likened to other flavours of this type.
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KP Hula Hoops BBQ Beef Potato Rings
There was a meaty sort of aroma when the bag was opened. It was not necessarily identifiable as Beef. The flavour was meaty – in the same fashion as the flavour found in Crisps. It is not however Beef. It is more a Beef stock sort of flavour. There was also the addition of the Americanism “BBQ” which is food manufacturing short-hand for the perfectly able word: Barbecue. There was absolutely nothing Barbecue-like about this Beef stock flavouring.
KP Hula Hoops Smoky Bacon Potato Rings
The result of the Nose Plunge Test was conclusive. Smoky Bacon. Interestingly, the flavour of reconstituted snacks are often more accurate in taste than many Crisps of the same variety. While the flavouring is added once Crisps are cooked the flavour often differs from Crisps to Crisp. We are a little wary of reconstituted snacks, which are often made in some kinda science project, but one thing that is invariably consistent is the flavour – these tasted of Smoky Bacon. Not Smoky Bacon as in sliced pig, but Smoky Bacon as in the Crisps flavouring.
KP Hula Hoops Roast Chicken Potato Rings
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a Chicken Stock aroma. The flavour delivered much the same. Reconstituted snacks often feature a more consistent and worthy flavouring that their Crisps counterparts and these fit into that mould.
KP Hula Hoops Original Potato Rings
A Nose Plunge Test did not reveal much. The flavour was a kind of tongue shrinking Salt that conjured up images of Wile E Coyote munching on Alum. Not quite as sever obviously, but the taste was similar to Plain Crisps, but with a slightly warm Potato hint.
KP Roysters T-Bone Steak Bubbled Chips
The reverse of the packet admits that the contents are ‘Reformed’ Potato Snacks. This may mean they were naughty Crisps but now they are better behaved. Or it might mean they are made of Potato plus chemicals and other ingredients. The flavour was a little like Oxo or another such Beef stock cube. T-Bone Steak as a description, requires a certain level of imagination. They were quite tasty Beef Stock flavoured Crisps though!
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Brannigans Smoked Ham & Pickle Crisps
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a sweet sort of aroma that stung the nose slightly; this is likely to have been the Pickle effect. There was a similarly sweet taste. This provoked imagery of glazed Ham. The overall taste was certainly tangy, like Pickle, but not a Pickle that was recognisable. Perhaps it was a little like a sweet Chutney. I would like to say there was a background of Ham or Bacon, but we couldn't really find it.
Brannigans Roast Beef & Mustard Crisps
The very faintest smell of Mustard was apparent when the bag was opened. The taste was clearly of mustard, and it wasn’t any old mild mustard, it was English Mustard – maybe even a very mild and creamy Wasabi. There was also a nicely balanced meaty Beef flavouring to the Crisps.