£30m Pipers brand takes latest launch to major London exhibition

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 7 Aug 2017

THE Atlas Mountains are coming to London – via Elsham Wold – next month, and where they head after is anyone’s guess. 

Pipers Crisps’ latest flavour, combining exquisitely-sourced wild thyme and rosemary, will hit the Speciality & Fine Food Fair at Olympia, and for many it will be the first opportunity to taste the latest addition to the range, which now boasts 37 gold Great Taste Awards in a decade.

Already exporting to 32 countries with strong national listings, the annual showcase offers more opportunity. 

“Growing significantly in popularity,” according to the team at the recently-built northern Lincolnshire HQ, Atlas Mountains Wild Thyme & Rosemary was launched a year ago.

Suitable for vegetarians and vegans, the new botanical flavours are described as a perfect pairing with the increasingly sought after craft gins, or to accompany light bites in the catering world - “both representing fast-growing market opportunities,” founder Alex Albone said. 

MORE: Food experts help establish team of taste specialists at North Lincolnshire crisp-makers

The £30 million brand, which employs more than 75 people in Elsham and has regional distribution hubs established, has certainly made its mark since the latest launch, the first new flavour in four years and only the eighth since the 2002 beginnings.

Premium crisps such as Pipers are flourishing within the crowded snack market and are an important ‘must stock’ item for independent retailers. 

The Pipers Crisps brand is a two-time winner of the prestigious DBA Design Effectiveness Award, reflecting the brand’s strong on-shelf impact, helping to drive retail and foodservice sales. Earlier this year Pipers was voted ‘Britain’s Best Brand’ of savoury snack for the fifth consecutive year in a survey of independent retailers, while The London Stock Exchange Group recently named it as one of ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’, as it celebrated the fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium sized businesses across the UK. 

At the time of the unveiling, Mr Albone, who features in the video below, said: “We’re never in a hurry to launch new flavours and, when we do, we set ourselves very strict criteria. We don’t go in for fashionable or seasonal products. We’ll only consider a new line if it tastes great, has a strong provenance, is relevant to current eating trends and complements our existing range.

“Atlas Mountains Wild Thyme & Rosemary flavour more than meets these criteria. We know that vegetarian eating is a rapidly growing trend, and that Mediterranean herb flavours are increasingly popular across Europe. These great-tasting crisps meet this consumer demand in a way that no other manufacturers’ crisps currently do. 

“The uniqueness of this new flavour, together with the strong growth of premium crisps within the burgeoning snacks sector, makes it a must-have item for driving sales revenue and margin.” 

Visitors to the trade-only event, which takes place between September 3 and September 5, will be told of the provenance, with the herbs sought from the foothills, east of Casablanca, deep in the heartland of Morocco, where more than 100,000 acres of herbs grow, and local families bid for plots where they can collect the herbs by hand. Each plot is sustainably harvested, with only a small amount collected per week, with donkeys used to carry the collected herbs back, ready to be sun-dried and exported.

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