Business | 1 week ago

Everybody you know loves crisps. Can you think of a single person who, when you offer them a crips, they've said "No. I don't like crisps"? Us neither.

And it turns out that us Irish aren't just accidentally big fans of crisps, we're practically genetically pre-disposed to love them.

According to Tom Keogh - the guy behind Keogh Crisps - began his career in the family business, selling potatoes.

Speaking to The Capital B podcast, Keogh talks about how selling crisps wasn't even his idea to begin with. Between 2002 and 2012, there was a massive 50% drop in sales in potatoes in Ireland when people started to look elsewhere for sides for their dinners, such as pasta and rice.

He turned to exporting his potatoes in the States, but with discussions with the Animal & Plant Health Officials, who told him that his potatoes were a banned substance.

However, one of the officials did inform him that maybe he should look into cooking his products: "If you cook them, you bypass all the red-tape, and you've got access into the market. So that was our light-bulb moment."

Four years later, travelling around the world to learn more about the process of cooking crisps, and claims he can now blind-taste test any brand of crisps and now immediately what they are.

On top of that, he reveals why it is that Irish people specifically seem to love crisps:

"The Irish palette is attuned to growing really high dry matter flour-y potatoes. We love it, and we're unique worldwide. We only like flour-y potatoes, and in that is a little secret for cooking crisps, because the flour-y'er the potato, the less oil is used in the cooking process, the less oilier the crisps taste."

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So there you have it. Crisps were in our DNA the whole time!

You can listen to the full interview with Tom Keogh and the rest of this week's The Capital B podcast below:

Episode 5 of our brand new podcast The Capital B has arrived!

This week's pod includes:


  • The Irish video game maker, Bobby Healy, who made millions in Mexico before anyone heard of the internet and how being Irish is like being a global credit card;

  • 25-year-old Carlow man Illann Power, talks getting kicked out of school for selling chocolate bars, moving to New York and selling his whiskey company for €40 million;

  • Sarah, the baked bean expert of coolbeans, talks farts and why putting 'vegan' on a brand means it definitely won't sell.


Read more about:

Ireland, Food, Business, Crisps, Keoghs