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Spud Sunday: Sure Who’d Want To Be a Millionaire?


Get a load of those zeroes, man.

I’ll bet there aren’t many of us who would object to such a nicely rounded addition to their bank balance. Especially when all they would have to do in return, more or less, was come up with a new, winning flavour for a packet of crisps. No illegal activity required or anything, like.

Bowl of crisps

Golden in colour and very possibly golden in value too…

You would, unsurprisingly, have to compete against a great many others in this endeavour – millions of them, perhaps – but still, worth a shot, eh? A possibility that comes with that many zeroes attached is – much like a newly opened packet of crisps – hard to resist. And you would certainly figure that I, in my daily spudness, would be all over it. Except, the thing is, I’m not.

The competition in question is being run by Walker’s – a U.K. company, but owned by Frito Lay, a much bigger international brand which, in turn, is part of that global conglomerate, PepsiCo. Six entrants will have their flavours realised as limited edition crisps, to be sampled, voted upon, and a winner chosen to receive that sizable bag o’ cash. It’s open to Irish residents as well as those in the U.K. (though all of the named “home grown ingredients” – one of which must be included in the proposed flavour – are resolutely British; in dealing with the Irish market, it may have slipped their minds that home grown is a relative term).

Man Carrying Big Bag Of Cash

Yup, it’s that perennially tempting
big bag o’ cash
(image taken from here)

Still, qualms about provenance aside, I might – complete with dollar signs in my eyes – have thrown my hat into the flavour ring, except for the fact that (oops!) having previously written about Walker’s in a mildly unfavourable way with respect to the Irish market, I could – depending on the interpretation of the competition terms and conditions – be considered ineligible.

Because, in the end, this is really not about crisps but about very big business – the kind that can offer a prize of such magnitude, and the kind that would be more than happy to grab an even bigger chunk of the Irish snack market, inevitably at the expense of home grown businesses – not just the Tayto / Largo Foods empire but the likes of O’Donnells and Keoghs too – who do a more than decent job of catering to our needs in the crisps department, thankyouverymuch.

And I doubt very much that any of this occurred to the PR person who emailed, wondering if I would promote the Walker’s competition in return for a few packets of crisps (and nothing that involved any extra zeroes). I declined politely but, somewhat ironically, have written about it anyway – I deliberately didn’t link to any promotional material, however, though youse can, of course, look it up on the interweb if you’re so inclined. And, if you do find yourself on the receiving end of a million quid, then perhaps give a thought to spending at least some of it on things that are truly home grown, wherever home is for you.


  1. Brian@irelandfavorites

    a spud divided cannot stand? No worries Aoife as long as you buy with your taste buds the best crisp will survive, I for one never cared for the lays potato chip over here in the US and much prefer Utz or Cape Cod, a few not so familiar chip (crisp) names from my part of the world. In the end the enemy isn’t the big crisp company but the anti fried potato nazis who want to dictate what you can and cannot eat. So take your hat off to the big pro spud companies with their expensive promotion of the crisp, their goal is the same as your local growers, Spuds are great, especially fried and flavored.

  2. Daily Spud

    On that last point, Brian, we will always agree!

  3. Tom Cox

    So! No crisp new notes then!!

  4. Daily Spud

    No indeed, no sign of any spudulicks at all, at all Tom!

  5. Sarvari Research Trust

    Aoife,Think I need to start a crusade for crisps with a decent potato flavour as you found in Kaethe’s Crisps with a concience. These seem to be dying out as ever new flavours appear which drown out any spud taste. And bring back the blue screw of wax paper with salt so you get them salted as you like them. In fact you could have a wax paper with the flavour powder, colour coded for chili or S&V or onion etc – put more on when in the pub and less when at home?

  6. Daily Spud

    Hear, hear David, excellent suggestions all ’round – I’m all for crisps with actual spud flavour, as Kaethe’s truly were, and seasoned to your own taste.

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