Haggis, neeps and tatties will be available in potato crisp form this month thanks to Mackie's Crisps.
Due to hit the shelves from early January, Mackie’s Crisps has taken inspiration from the Bard himself, Robert Burns, and is bringing consumers a snack-based taste of Scotland’s favourite traditional dish in the run-up to Burns Night.
A limited run of 150,000 150g bags will be available with a comforting, light peppery flavour and Taylor-clan tartan packaging.
Using entirely natural flavourings and high oleic sunflower oil, the crisps are suitable for both vegans and vegetarians.
James Taylor, from the Perthshire-based family business, is delighted with the flavour and hopes it resonates with the Scottish public.
He said: “While we do push the boat out with exotic flavours, we do also like to look closer to home at some of the fantastic dishes from our heritage. Quite simply, there are none more iconic than our own national dish.
“We’re fiercely proud of our Scottish roots and so narrowed down to a number of options for a limited run. When it came to the taste tests, haggis, neeps and tatties emerged as the runaway favourite.”
James is the fourth generation to work at the Taylor farm – and is Commercial Director at Mackie’s at Taypack, which produces Mackie’s Crisps. He helps to run the family-owned business with his father, Managing Director George Taylor.
The crisps brand and Mackie’s at Taypack as a business were launched in 2009 as the result of a joint-venture between potato farmers the Taylor family and Aberdeenshire’s Mackie’s of Scotland, which is renowned for its ice cream and chocolate.
Its thick-cut and gently cooked potato crisps use the best varieties of crisping potatoes, grown on the farm, reflective of its “plough to pack” ethos.
Subsequently, Mackie’s Crisps has become famous for its haggis and cracked black pepper variety, as well as launching the world’s first pigs in blankets flavour.
Research on its new flavour started in earnest in 2018 during a new product development push, after establishing Burns Night as an opening to deliver a new patriotic flavour combination.
Meticulous sampling sessions helped it to master the flavour of haggis, neeps and tatties, building on its popular haggis-based flavours.
The Mackie’s Crisps team were further convinced of launching the flavour when a student, Aileen McColm, joined the Perthshire business in 2018 to shadow quality control manager Jamie McKell. She undertook a survey, with 350 respondents showing the flavour to be the favoured option for the target market.
James added: “It’s been many years in the making, so we’ll be keeping in contact with our end customers and trade clients throughout to see what the appetite is like for our new flavour.
“Who knows, we may even be able to expand the run to make it a permanent addition to our range. We’d also love to be able to sell bags abroad, helping the wider world to experience the taste of haggis, neeps and tatties.”