It’s crunch time for crisps, but not in posh Lancashire

John Fiddler, left, and his father and brother, both called Robert, on the farm where they make Lancashire Crisps.
John Fiddler, left, and his father and brother, both called Robert, on the farm where they make Lancashire Crisps.
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The chips might be down for the great British crisp.

But one local producer is bucking the national trend by reporting cracking sales at the “posh” end of the potato snack market.

Fiddler’s Lancashire Crisps, grown, sliced and cooked in the county, are tasting increased success while the industry is facing crunch time as a whole.

“Overall sales might be falling, but that’s not the case for us,” said John Fiddler at the family farm in Rufford, which switched to crisps in 2011, turning out flavours such as Lancashire black pudding and English mustard, Lancashire sweet chilli and Lancashire sauce.

“People are still buying kettle-cooked crisps. They’re still seen as a treat to nibble while you’re sitting watching TV. I think you’ll find it is the cheaper crisps, not the posh end, which are losing sales.”

New research has found while crisp sales have fallen back generally over the past two years, other snacks, like popcorn, have overtaken them.

Consumers believe popcorn is healthier and less-fattening than crisps. In fact the opposite is true, say retail analysts Mintel who compiled the statistics.

Cheese is the nation’s favourite crisp flavour, with ready salted, and salt and vinegar, not far behind.