Popular Posts

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Lunch With Corkers Crisps

Corkers Crisps were launched in 2010 and it's been quite a journey since.

I've reviewed the crisps themselves previously and knew some of the back story, but I got to hear more of the details over lunch with Amy Woods, marketing manager at Corker's, over lunch with a group of journalists.

We met up in a pub in central London - the food, like Corkers Crisps, was hearty traditional-British but with a contemporary sophistication. Rather like pasta or tapas, this was peasant food with an urban makeover - right on the zeitgeist.
Corkers' is a not-unfamiliar story - a long-standing, traditional family business facing slow decline is reinvented by a younger generation.

The family behind Corkers have been growing potatoes in the fens since the 1800s, but with commodity prices falling, sons Rod and Ross decided to use some of the crop to make a high-end British-themed crisp.

To what extent this was business savvy or a lucky hunch is unclear; that traditional British foods are coming back into fashion is certain - as witnessed by the menu at or pub - but the general boost for all things traditionally British from the Jubilympics seems to have caught even the owners by surprise.

It all started with just a concept, a prototype packet stuffed with cotton wool and some limited samples - Harvey Nichols agreed to stock the crisps as soon as they could be put into production, so a cooking unit was hurriedly bought from Cyprus via an internet auction.

Since then, the crisps have found their way onto and into trains, planes, art galleries and family attractions.

They've also been sent into space, set a Guinness World Record, won awards and generated a lot of money for charity.

Whatever the luck element of the 2012 effect, there are solid underpinnings here - a sophisticated yet edgy, non-corporate brand that offers a clear set of values and an experience over and above the basic product; you can even visit the Corkers farm and have your own crisps made from scratch in around an hour.

With just over 50% of the farm's potatoes made into crisps (the remainder are sold to fish and chip shops), there's plenty of scope for expansion, including two new flavours in the pipeline - Gressingham Duck and another still-undisclosed option.

The idea for the duck flavour came from the Gressingham ducks that are reared on the farm; but no quackers are harmed in the making of the crisps themselves - we were assured that the flavourings are all cleverly made from 100% vegetarian ingredients.

Other related articles
Rock 'n' Roll Crisps in Space

Corker's Crisps - website, twitter

No comments:

Post a Comment