Mackie’s has developed a slow-baking process for the snacks, which it says allows the product to incorporate up to 45% whole fresh vegetables.
The investment in the production facility on the company’s Taylor Farm includes the installation of new technology for the process, which Mackie’s has vowed to keep secret.
James Taylor, managing director of Mackie’s Crisps, said: “Being able to make Wholesums on a larger scale at the farm is a big breakthrough for us.
“We invested time and money in the brand because we want to create a healthy snack brand and product that is a meaningful improvement on what is currently available – nutritionally and in flavour.”
The Wholesums product is available in four flavours: Salt of the Earth, Splash of Salt and Vinegar, Whole Lot of Smokey BBQ, and Soft Sweet Chilli. The snacks contain 86 calories per 22g bag and are vegan-friendly as well as gluten- and dairy-free.
Ingredients include whole peas, carrots and potatoes in place of flours and powders and the limited use of oil results in a fat content of 1.2%.
Taylor is confident that the move will provide opportunities to work with local growers, cutting food miles and wastage, plus the potential for the creation of single-origin products using different locally-sourced vegetables.
“By using whole, often ‘wonky’ vegetables from local producers we'll be able to massively cut food miles, while ensuring delicious food doesn't go to waste,” he said.
“We’re just at the start of our journey too. The potential that our process and new equipment offers is huge and we're looking at a range of options, including on behalf of some of our supermarket clients.”
Mackie’s Crisps has been operating since 2009 and is part of a joint venture between the Taylor Farm and Aberdeenshire brand Mackie’s of Scotland. James Taylor is among the fourth generation to work on the farm and runs the business with his father, George Taylor, who works as chairman.