The Derby-based business, which employs seven people at its head office, contracts its production out to CBC in Malta, which it says has the capacity to service anticipated extra demand for the brand in the UK and export markets.
Crips 99Cals are produced with British wheat and potatoes, and Crips claims that they contain 70% less fat than traditional fried potato crisps.
West coast gang
Although the UK crisp market is in decline, the healthy snacks element of the sector is up by 11% in value according to the most recent figures, sales and marketing director Karl Traae told FoodManufacture.co.uk.
He said the company’s expansion plans include building exports to existing markets including Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland, but also opening up the USA market. “We might have to do a name change there, because Crips is a West coast [primarily African American] gang name,” he said.
The family business, established in 2005, is also working on NPD projects including new flavours and bag sizes.
No UK production option
Traae said the company originally took its production contract to Malta because of an absence of UK alternatives.
“We use a linear baking system and there’s only a couple in the UK that we could use,” he said. “One is owned by a competitor and one is Burtons Foods' in North Wales, which is at full capacity.
“Our technologists have been to Malta and shown them the technology we use to make the product. It’s a symbiotic relationship with them. We help them on the technical side and they help us with manufacturing challenges we have.”
He added: “We’re looking at the UK multiples. Morrisons is our first national listing and we’re making steady progress with the other multiples. We’ve got regional listings with Tesco and the Co-op and we’re talking to Sainsbury’s. But with a product like this there’s no real limit to where it can go.”