Europe, UK, Ireland, Processing, fries, chips, Retail, Trade/Markets/Prices, Trends

Is the British crisp industry heading for a Brexit crunch?

The Charlotte. The Electra. The Lady Claire. The Pentland, the Taurus, the Jester, the Desiree.

Nobody knows for sure how many varieties of potatoes there are in the United Kingdom. The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the official arbiter of these things, puts the number at 334 but others say it’s 500 and at least one potato farmer I’ve spoken to reckons the real tally is well over a thousand.

Few countries have made the spud a part of national culture in quite the way Britain has. Fish and chips, mashed potatoes, roast potatoes and, most of all, crisps.

Britons consume billions of packs of crisps each year – and while the numbers are starting to flag due in part to health concerns, evidence suggests that rather than dispensing with snacks altogether, consumers are simply switching to alternatives such as popcorn or vegetable fries.

The potato harvest is the main challenge facing the industry this year but here as in so many other areas of UK industry, there is an overarching concern: Brexit.

At the moment crisp maker and exporter Kettle Foods pays no tariffs on any of its exports to Europe – exports which account for 15% of its total production of crisps. Should there be a no-deal Brexit and the UK faces having to pay EU tariffs, that means paying 10% on every pack of crisps.

Read the full story on Sky.com

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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