Crisp maker Savoursmiths sets sights on new factory

By Helen Gilbert

- Last updated on GMT

Mike Russell Smith co-founded Savoursmiths with his wife Colette in 2016
Mike Russell Smith co-founded Savoursmiths with his wife Colette in 2016

Related tags: Ambient

Upmarket crisp maker Savoursmiths intends to open a factory in 2020 that will be able to process between seven and eight million bags of crisps annually, Food Manufacture can reveal.

Mike Russell Smith, who co-founded the Cambridgeshire-based business with his wife Colette in 2016, said he expected the facility to be operational by February 2020.

The factory would be built on the family farm – which produces the potatoes that are used in its crisps – in order to reduce food miles and the brand’s carbon footprint, Russell Smith said. Current crisp production is outsourced locally.

The new plant would also create 10 new jobs in the short-term and at least 20 over the next three years, he added.

Strong presence in the US

The brand, which is stocked in Waitrose and Harrods, launched in the US six months ago after the couple spotted a gap in the market for posh crisps.

Its bags are now sold in 1,000 US stores, with Truffle & Rosemary cited as the most popular flavour among American consumers.

Other variants include Wagyu Beef & Honey Mustard, as well as Bubbly & Serrano Chilli.

“We saw the potential in the US snacking market for something original, fun, exciting and luxurious, and sent our first container in February,”​ said Russell Smith.

“We found that we can compete with established brands across the world by offering luxurious products.”

Department for International Trade assistance

The couple received help from the Department for International Trade, which assisted the company with trade missions, logistics, market research and identifying distributors.

Colette added the “eccentricity”​ of the brand had worked well to grab attention in the US where “consumers aren’t as tied to traditional flavours compared to the UK”​.

Antony Phillipson, Her Majesty’s trade commissioner for North America, said: “We Brits might call them crisps, but they are a hugely popular snack on both sides of the pond, so this is an ideal export destination for Savoursmiths’ fantastic products.

“Taking the export plunge always requires careful planning and I hope their success will inspire other UK companies to look for new markets to grow their brands and diversify their customer base.”

Related topics: Ambient foods, Start-ups, Operations

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