Tradition Taste and Tayto
From the humble beginnings of an Irish entrepreneur in Dublin City to becoming Ireland’s most-loved food brand, the story of Tayto is as rich and rewarding as our great tasting snacks. Read more below about our compelling history of entrepreneurship, quality and innovation and you’ll understand why we are so proud of our heritage.
1954 - A World First
In 1954, Irish entrepreneur Joe ‘Spud’ Murphy invented what is believed to be the world’s first flavoured crisp. Together with Seamus Burke who created the now famous Tayto cheese & onion flavour, and seven other employees, Joe opened his first potato crisp factory on O’Rahilly Parade, off Dublin city’s historic Moore Street.
By 1956 Tayto was expanding rapidly requiring new production premises which were found in Dublin’s Rathmines area. Further expansion followed in 1961 by way of a facility in the nearby Harold’s Cross area. By this time the original O’Rahilly Parade factory had been sold. In 1964 Beatrice Foods, a Chicago-based company, invested in the business.
By 1968 the Tayto business was sold to Beatrice Foods and moved to a much larger production site in Coolock, North Dublin. In 1972 The King brand was acquired.
In 1981, following the purchase of the Smith’s Food Group factory in Terenure, a new range of Tayto products was developed. In 1983, snacks visionary and entrepreneur Raymond Coyle, established Largo Foods and in 1984 he launched ‘Cottage Crisps’. He acquired the ‘Perri’ brand from the Capaldi family in 1986.
In 1993, Raymond Coyle created the Hunky Dorys brand with its distinctive buffalo flavour and went on to develop an attention-grabbing advertising campaign (2010) that made headlines across Ireland. The acquisition in 1996 of Sam Spudz Snack foods in Gweedore, Donegal allowed for expansion into ‘snacks’ products to complement the crisps range.
In 1996 Tayto invested in the modernisation and refurbishment of its Coolock plant along with a new 30,000 square feet distribution facility in Ballymount, Dublin.
Over the next two decades Tayto’s popularity grew further as it became a truly iconic Irish brand leading to its eventual sale to the C&C Group Plc in 1999.
A key ingredient of our story is one man who has been there from the start. Our brand ambassador Mr. Tayto has grown to become a cultural icon and his name is synonymous with great-tasting snacks and Irish invention. Mr. Tayto is the instantly recognised, much-loved character that people of all ages love and embrace. As the embodiment of the brand he gently cajoles, pokes fun, brings a sense of humour to the everyday. His campaigns over the years have brought his sense of humour to the forefront and created an emotional connection with the public.
In 2005 C&C outsourced production to Largo Foods with Largo eventually acquiring the business, which included the Tayto and King brands, outright in 2006.
The Tayto brand and its mascot Mr.Tayto went on to entertain the Irish public with hugely memorable campaigns; in 2007 Mr.Tayto ran for election; in 2008 he conducted a nationwide search for a wife; in 2009 he launched his autobiography, keeping former Taoiseach (prime minister) Bertie Ahern’s autobiography off the No.1 Christmas spot.
In 2010, Raymond Coyle opened the Tayto Park theme park across from the manufacturing facility in Kilbrew, Co. Meath.
Tayto Park perfectly illustrates how the Tayto brand has become part of Irish life. Over 22 hectares of beautiful County Meath farmland in Ireland’s northeast, it includes Ireland’s only wooden roller coaster, an exotic zoo, and so much more. It sums up perfectly what we stand for as a brand. Fun, family and great memories – and is loved by hundreds of thousands of visitors that arrive every year from all over.