International appetite for Burts Chips

Plymouth-based artisan snack brand, Burts Potato Chips is marking a successful year of export growth across key markets in Europe and North America. With a sweep of increased product listings across the USA, Canada and Europe, the company is growing in response to demand for great-tasting quality crisps and is now available in 28 countries worldwide.

Burts Potato Chips has experienced 40% year-on-year international growth in its export business, helping drive overall turnover of £24m in 2016, up from £19.8m in 2015. One highly successful part of the business which supported national distribution across North America this year is the line of Guinness-flavoured crisps, produced in partnership with Diageo.

Launched in 2012 with the original Guinness flavour and bolstered by the introduction of Rich Chilli and Toasted Cheddar variations, the uniquely flavoured crisps have spearheaded growth in the key American market – where exports have gone up 100% this year– as the market responds particularly well to premium, globally-recognised British and Irish brands.

The Burts core range of eight quintessentially British flavours champions the company’s South West heritage, exclusively using local suppliers to ensure a true Devon provenance. It was because of this focus on local produce that Co-op South West announced its listing of Burts across 162 stores in 2016, as the convenience retailer looks to stock more leading regional brands.

The better-for-you snacks market is also piquing international health-conscious appetites, as sales of Lentil Waves have significantly increased globally. In 2017, Burts is going to introduce ‘sharing’ bags of its “Lentil Waves” range – which uses flash-frying methods to impart Burts’ renowned delicious flavour to a diet-friendly product.

Simon Knight, Sales and Marketing Director at Burts Chips said of the export uplift, “It is fantastic to experience this level of expansion across North America and Europe and be part of a company that’s shaping international snacking preferences. In the last year, we have invested £3.5 million in the company to cope with the huge global demand for our products, including the introduction of a new extruded snack fryer from America.

“In 2017, we will be investing a further £3.5 million and plan to import additional fryers to support extensive growth and new product innovation across both our core potato chips and better-for-you ranges. Despite our rapid expansion, every single packet of Burts Chips is hand-fried to guarantee quality.”

In addition to extensive product listings in overseas markets, Burts Chips is available throughout the UK in stores including Waitrose, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Co-op with South West regional listings, EAT London and across a wide range of national independent grocery retailers, farm shops and delicatessens.