Business Profile - Fiddler’s Lancashire Crisps

Fiddlers Lancashire Crisps

Fiddlers Lancashire Crisps - Credit: Archant

Family-owned and run Fiddler’s Lancashire Crisps is celebrating another good year in business with ever growing listings across the UK as well as an amazing response from customers.

Potato-growing goes back 50 years in John Fiddler’s family. But for almost as long, the men of the clan have also wanted to make something with those potatoes. “When I was a little lad growing up,” says John Fiddler, “my dad always told me that my granddad would have liked to have made crisps. When they were picking potatoes by hand in the fields, they used to stop for the bagging, which is what they called their break. They had a packet of crisps and my granddad used to say, ‘I’ll make crisps one day’.”

Robert Fiddler, John’s granddad, died young and as small-scale farming got tougher, John’s thoughts turned again to salty snacks. “I started thinking about crisps,” he says. “We know how to grow good potatoes. I did some research, and I thought, ‘we’re going to have to do it now, because otherwise I’ll get to 60 and regret not doing it’. I went to my dad and said, ‘Have we to make crisps?’ And that was that.”

Fiddler’s Lancashire Crisps was established in July 2011 and produces an amazing range of hand-cooked crisps, made on the farm in Rufford, Lancashire – where the potatoes are grown.

The range extends to eight flavours with the majority celebrating other iconic local foods such as Lancashire Cheese, Wigan Malt Vinegar and Lancashire Sauce. The premium crisp producer has recently launched a new Lancashire Black Pudding & English Mustard flavour which was recently awarded a 2013 Great Taste Award along with its Cracked Black Pepper and Sea Salt.

The crisps are rapidly growing in popularity. The Fiddler family are now ‘exporting’ the crisps from Lancashire to stockists in Derbyshire, Cumbria, Kent and Sussex. New orders are also coming in from London.

You will also find them at some of the region’s major sporting grounds including Etihad Stadium and Old Trafford Cricket Ground.

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John Fiddler has put the success of Lancashire Crisps down to developing a product for retailers that strikes a chord with consumers. “Demand for premium crisps hasn’t shown any sign of easing with consumers despite the downturn. Consumers are placing greater emphasis on provenance, which comes in abundance with us. Our crisps are made just metres from the field where the potatoes used to make them are grown - on first class soil.

“Because we grow the potatoes, we keep a close eye on them ensuring the quality is right to achieve the light golden fry colour our crisps are famous for. This is where we differ and appeal to consumers as the big crisps manufacturers find it difficult to achieve a consistent product.”

Growth of the brand has also been attributed to the service provided. John added: “We have invested in getting the service right for retailers, giving them quick turnarounds on orders, flexibility of mixed flavour cases and point of sale material that reflects our brand values. Sales launches are also supported with custom stands and tasting sessions to ensure maximum exposure.”