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Kettle chips

There are crisps and there are special crisps. These are very special crisps, they are even called chips!

I have been sent some of the latest flavour chips to evaluate for the company and I am curious as to how it all began.

The first bags of Kettle® Chips were produced in America over 30 years ago, on 29th July 1982.

'Today Kettle®Chips is the number one hand cooked crisp brand in the UK.'

The chips are made with top quality potatoes, sunflower oil and authentic seasonings – hand cooked in small batches to give the distinctive golden colour, crunch and flavour of a Kettle® Chip.

The people at Kettle® Foods have always believed that the simple approach to good food is best. No artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or MSG are added to the process.

Kettle® Chips are widely available in a range of pack sizes – 225g, 150g, 40g and 5 x 30g multipacks, to suit different occasions.

Cameron Healy, founder of Kettle® Foods whose vision led to the development of Kettle Chips in 1982

The famous brand's story started in 1978 in the United States when founder Cameron Healy started selling cheese and roasted nuts from his beaten up camper van along Interstate 5. His aim was to provide consumers with high quality, unique snack products.

Kettle® Chips themselves were inspired by some delicious, hand fried potato chips Cameron tasted on a beach in Hawaii. Recreating the simple process he had witnessed on the beach, Cameron launched Kettle® Chips in 1982, a premium crisp, hand cooked in sunflower oil, with thicker slices and seasonings made with authentic ingredients.

Cameron brought Kettle® Chips to the UK in 1988 following a six-week motorcycle trip through Europe with his son. He set up production in Norwich, Norfolk where the company remains today.

In 2010, Kettle® Foods Ltd was bought by US snack company Diamond Foods Inc. Now over 100 million bags of Kettle® Chips are produced in the UK a year to the same recipe Cameron created over 30 years ago.

Chris Barnard Kettle

Kettle® Chef Chris Barnard, develops all the seaonings for Kettle Chips using real food ingredients.

When creating a new seasoning, Kettle® Chips' head chef Chris Barnard sources the best tatsing ingredients possible, including the perfect potatoes to give the distinctive golden colour, crunch and flavour of a Kettle® Chip. Seasonings are chosen to complement rather than mask the rich taste of the potatoes.

Potato Farmer Kettle

Potato Farmer, Ali Cargill, one of the founding potato growers of Nelson County Potatoes, the bespoke Norfolk Group that supplies Kettle® Foods

The potatoes for Kettle® Chips are grown within a 50 mile radius of our factory in Norwich. When they arrive at Kettle Foods, they are hand inspected, to ensure their high quality, then thickly sliced with their skins on and cooked in batches in non-hydrogenated sunflower oil that is high in polyunsaturates and low in saturated fat. The slices are carefully tended by experienced chip fryers who turn the chips with a tool inspired by a garden rake for even cooking.

Frying Kettle chips

Dan Needham, hand cooking Kettle® Chips, turning and stirring the slices for even cooking.

 The chips are then flavoured with the great tasting, authentic seasonings and sealed in distinctive coloured bags.

Kettle® Chips are available in the following varieties:

  • Lightly Salted
  • Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar
  • Sea Salt & Crushed Black Peppercorns
  • Mature Cheddar & Red Onion
  • Smoky Barbecue
  • Sour Cream & Sweet Onion
  • Sweet Chilli & Sour Cream
  • Mozzarella & Pesto
  • Golden Parsnip, Sweet Potato & Beetroot

kettle chips

I have been sent a bag of each of the Seasonal Editions to try: Cheshire Cheese, Red Wine and Cranberry, Salsa And Mesquite and Stilton and Port!

So here is my evaluation.

My partner Derek opened all three packets of crisps and a good bottle of wine. We sat down and began our feast!!

Derek and Kettle chips

Derek eating his third sample!

I poured myself a large glass of Rioja and tried the Cheshire Cheese ones. They are delightful, smooth on the tongue to start off with, then once the cranberry flavour kicks in, a sharp fruity taste. Perfect accompaniment for my wine. I have to confess that I did not want to share them!

My partner opted for the Stilton & Port to start off with. He could not put these down, the richness of the Stilton and the almost sweet flavour of the port really complimented each other perfectly. My own personal opinion of this flavour is that they are indeed very tasty, but I could not eat a lot in one go. However, these will be bought for Christmas time when friends call round for nibbles!

Me and kettle crisps

All three flavours are delicious!

Finally Salsa And Mesquite. I must admit I have tried these before back in 2005 and thought they were so original in taste and flavour. Summer barbecues spring to mind. I remember trying these with a well known bottle of lager and eating almost the whole bag in fifteen minutes!! This time around, I took my time! Spicy, crunchy, almost mediterranean in flavour,I would enjoy eating  them with tapas in a bar. Derek realy enjoyed these and has only eaten this brand of crisps for years. He could not choose a favourite between all three packets, saying instead that they are all equal in quality, value and most importantly, taste!

As for me to pick a favourite? It has to be the Salsa. I hope they will be re-introduced permanently, not only for six months.

Kettle® Chips are offering two cases of chips as prizes for the Christmas raffle. Details will be announced on the competitions page soon!

I would like to offer my thanks to the company for this generous donation. 

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