Investment means breakthrough healthy snack now produced in Scotland
James and Sally Taylor of Mackie's Crisps
A healthy vegetable chip set to take a bite out of the snacking market can now be mass produced in Scotland, after a significant investment in “top secret” production equipment.
Wholesums, launched last year by the Taylor family behind Mackie’s Crisps, is made thanks to an innovative slow baking process that – unlike other “popped snacks” – is able to incorporate up to 45% whole fresh vegetables.
The £750,000 investment in the new production facility in Errol, Perthshire, includes the installation of the new technology, developed for over a year by Mackie’s – which vows to keep the process top secret.
James Taylor, managing director with Mackie’s Crips, said: “Being able to make Wholesums on a larger scale at the farm is a big breakthrough for us.
“We’ve 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 – both nutritionally and in flavour.
“In our view Wholesums has achieved that. More and more of us want to eat healthily, but we don’t want to forego a tasty snack. Wholesums lets us do this and its low salt, sugar and fat content will be a relief to many parents too.”
Wholesums is now available in four flavours, Salt of the Earth, Splash of Salt and Vinegar, Whole Lot of Smokey BBQ, and Softly Sweet Chilli. At 86 calories per 22g bag, they are naturally vegan as well as being gluten and dairy free.
By using whole peas, carrots and potatoes, unlike competitors which use flours and powders, it is high in fibre, with just 1.2% fat as a result of using next to no oil.
Taylor is particularly excited by the opportunities to work with further local growers to cut food miles and wastage, as well as the potential for the creation of single-origin products using different locally sourced vegetables. He added: “Health is the dominating trend in the snacking market – but we also know that customers want to know that the brands they trust are acting sustainably.
“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.
“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.”
James is the fourth generation to work at the Taylor farm – which since 2009 has produced Mackie’s Crisps as part of a joint-venture with Mackie’s of Scotland, the Aberdeenshire brand renowned for its ice cream.
He helps to run the family-owned business with his father, chairman George Taylor. It employs a team of 50 staff – and recently became Scotland’s third best-selling premium crisp brand following growth that bucked wider market decline.