Tayto Announce Acquisition of Welsh Based Real Crisps

Northern Ireland headquartered Tayto Group today announced another addition to their portfolio of companies with the acquisition of Sirhowy Valley Foods, who manufacture designer hand-cooked crisps and vegetable chips at Newport, Gwent, under the Real Crisps brand.

The deal underpins Tayto’s position as the third biggest crisp company in the UK, taking the Group from £15m turnover to over £100m in six years of accelerated growth and paving the way for further expansion into the designer hand-cooked crisp and vegetable chip market.


Real Crisps was established in 1997 with the aim of supplying the pub and independent retail market with designer hand-cooked crisps.  In 1999, investment by the directors of Bar and Restaurant Foods Ltd enabled rapid growth and the company changes its name to Sirhowy Valley Foods Ltd.

Sirhowy, which has a £12m turnover, already supplies 37 Tesco stores in South Wales, as well as branches of Sainsbury and ASDA, from its 65,000sq ft state-of-the-art factory at Newport.

Today, Real Crisps and REAL Chips are sold in top quality food service outlets like upmarket coffee shops such as Starbucks, hotel caterers, healthy eating shops, delis, airports and British Airways Club and First Class.

Tayto Group acquired Golden Wonder in February 2006, securing 550 jobs in Scunthorpe, Market Harborough and Corby.  The company also employs 350 people making six million bags of crisps and snacks a week at Tandragee in Co Armagh

Tayto managing director Stephen Hutchinson said: “I am delighted to welcome Real Crisps into the Tayto Group. This acquisition, together with the acquisition of Golden Wonder, underlines our position as a top quality manufacturer with first class management and production capabilities.

“We have a very clear vision for the development of our business and intend to continue expansion in the United Kingdom and abroad, further reinforcing our reputation as a brand builder.

“I am deeply impressed with Sirhowy’s factory at Newport and am pleased we have been able to secure all the jobs there. Challenges remain, however, but with the support of staff and customers we are up for the challenge.”

Commenting on the purchase of Real Crisps by Co Armagh’s Tayto, Seamus McGuckin, a senior manager at Ulster Bank which is funding the deal,
“Tayto has already shown it’s ability to successfully broker major deals in GB. This is another ambitious and strategic acquisition by the Tandragee company which will strengthen its position in GB and allow it to further grow its share of the lucrative UK crisp market.”

“Tayto is one of a number of enterprising local companies that have successfully acquired and added value to GB businesses in the past 18 months. This kind of enterprising spirit will be vital if Northern Ireland’s economy is to reach its potential,” Mr McGuckin adds.

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