Address: Consumer Services Department, Walkers Snack Foods, FREEPOST LE4 918, Leicester, LE4 5ZY
Telephone: 0800 274 777
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Smith's Crisps are one of the world’s oldest Chips and Crisps manufacturers. Frank Smith first started making Potato Crisps in his London, England garage in the early 1920s. He moved to a factory in 1927. During the depression Smith travelled to Australia to expand the business.
Smith's Chips were first manufactured in Australia in 1931 by Smith and his colleague George Ensor. The production process began with Chips being cooked in 20 gas fired cooking pots before they were packed by hand. The following year, Smith's Potato Chips was formed and they sold their wares in three penny packets, 24 to a tin. The legendary "twist of salt" sachet was contained in these packs before pre-salting was introduced.
At the end of the Second World War, Smith’s introduced the continuous cooker process. In 1960 the production of a one shilling pack for movie theatres and a box pack for four shillings was started. The following year saw the introduction of Smith’s first flavor – Chicken. The success saw the introduction of Salt & Vinegar.
Towards the end of the 1960s, Associated Products and Distribution Pty Ltd., partnered with PepsiCo beverages Ltd, purchased a 41.5% share of Smith's Potato Crisps. The brand expanded with the acquisition of other brands and the introduction of new products. Smiths was later owned by Nabisco, and in 1998, The Smith's Snackfood Company was purchased by PepsiCo.
Smith's Crisps UK is run by Walkers, which in turn is a subsidiary of Pepsico.
Smiths Crisps Salt & Vinegar
These crisps are among the oldest of this flavour variety in the world. It was, therefore a rather emotional experience for me to Taste Test a piece of history for these pages. There was an instant reminder of childhood, but with a more refined chips and crisps palate, it would be fair to say that while there was a familiar and credible taste there was also a slight imbalance - Not so much salt, but a particular over-balance of malt vinegar. Not much, but enough for a tweak to return it to its glory days. (14)
Smiths Crisps Cheese & Onion
Concern grew when a Nose Plunge Test revealed nothing at all. Fortunately, my fears were allayed. There was a perfect balance between cheese and onion. Maybe it was the nostalgia talking, maybe it was the emergence of weird and wonderful flavours around the world, but this particular crisp was like a time machine, transporting me back to an age of saloon bars in pubs and a Coke out of a traditional bottle with a straw.
I have no idea why these successful bacon flavoured potato snacks are still sold under the Smiths branding. It appears Walkers still don’t know what to do with their famous former rival. Anyway, they are meaty crackled and popped potato slabs or air bubbles and boils. They are yellow in colour but with pinky brown streaks. The effect is a fun bacon slice effect that is a preserve of 1970s extruded potato snacks. The flavouring is somewhat salty but with a heavy dose of crisps-related bacon flavouring. They have always been a hit, and if Walkers get their act together, it’s a product that should be easy to mainstream, just a they have done with Monster Munch.