Iconic Irish snack gets a taste of Chinese market
Published 23/06/2010 | 05:00
CHINESE consumers will soon be enjoying the taste of Tayto crisps.
The Irish snack has undergone a major makeover for its Asian adventure.
Businessman Wei Quoinhas has struck an agreement to deliver the iconic Irish crisp to 1,200 outlets in Shanghai, which has a population of more than 20 million.
However, the cheese-and-onion flavour popular among Irish crisp connoisseurs have been cast aside in favour of salted and Thai sweet chilli deemed more likely to tickle the Chinese palate.
Snack-lovers may also look on enviously as the bulging yellow packets weigh-in a tad heavier than their Irish counterparts at a hefty 50g -- which is the average packet size in China.
Raymond Coyle, founder of Largo Foods which produces the crisps, touted the six-month Shanghai trial with the Irish-based businessman Mr Quoinhas. The launch in the Asian country comes after six months of intensive discussions with the Chinese food and regulatory authorities.
Mr Coyle revealed that if the initial foray proves successful it planned to expand distribution to other areas of China and introduce other flavours.
"Wherever there are Irish people in most countries you will find Tayto crisps," Mr Coyle said.
Around 25,000 packets a week are exported to Australia, while Irish pubs in countries such as the US also stock up on Tayto. The company will begin by sending 10 containers stocked with 75,000 packets each to Shanghai.
"I believe we will get an order for 75 more containers," Mr Coyle said.
He emphasised they had been able to export the stock cheaply as many of the containers bringing Chinese manufactured goods to Ireland are then often returned empty. Around 530 people are employed at its Largo Foods plants in Ashbourne, Co Meath, and Gweedore, Co Donegal.
About 1.5 million packets of Tayto are sold each week.