Irish crisps enter US market

Irish potato growers the Keogh family, who have farmed at Westpalstown in County Dublin for the past 200 years, are growing in the international luxury crisp market with export sales of their products increasing.

“Over the years my family has grown tomatoes, cucumber, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, sweetcorn, barley, wheat, onions and potatoes,” said Tom Keogh, who farms with his brother Peter and their sons Tom, Ross and Derek. “In the last 20 years we have completely specialised in potatoes. We grow about 400 acres and we have a network of 25 growers from Wexford up to County Donegal.”

At present the crisps factory, which employs around 27 people, is producing 1.5 tonnes of product every day. The range features seven different flavours in 50g, 125g and multi-pack offerings. The distinctive crunch is achieved by dropping the cooking temperature by about 25 degrees for part of the process, before bringing it back up to 150 degrees.

As well as featuring the family’s iconic branding, each packet of crisps carries information for the consumer to use the company’s innovative ‘spud nav.’ “Each bag has the field where we grew the potatoes, the variety and the person that cooked them, as well as the best before date,” explains Tom.

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