Meet the Makers: Clintons Artisan Crisps

Continuing our Meet the Maker series, we're shining the light on the many gifted producers behind some of Ireland's best food and drink brands. Today, we chat to the makers of Clintons Artisan Crisps is North Dublin.

Could you tell us a bit about the history of Clintons Artisan Crisps?

Loughbarn Farms was set up to produce Hand Cooked Artisan Irish Crisps. The idea was to add value to Potatoes grown on the family farm in Skerries, Co. Dublin. Built on 7th Generation farming expertise and 25 years’ experience in the crisp and snack industry, the company started trading in August 2018.

Why is using Irish ingredients important to your company?

Firstly the Food industry in Ireland is extremely important as it supports everything from Farming to Food producers all across Ireland, from our large Cities to our small towns. We also believe that Irish food and ingredients are of a quality that is unrivalled across the world. Finally protecting the environment is everybody’s responsibility, buying Irish but especially local reduces our national carbon footprint. We are very proud that all the potatoes used in the manufacturing process are grown on the family farm.

What is the biggest challenge that you face as a food producer in Ireland?

As a small producer our biggest challenge is being competitive against the big brands/companies that have big marketing and promotional budgets.

What new trends do you see that are emerging in your industry?

Covid has brought a massive awareness of the importance of supporting and shopping local, this encompasses locally produced goods and Irish produced goods. People are making a conscious effort to purchase Irish/local.

Also the switch to online shopping, with restricted movement due to covid, this has become the new normal for many people. With much greater opportunities for direct selling online and collaborative selling.

Are there any major changes you would like to see in your industry?

Initiatives like the Supervalu Food Academy give a local platform and national exposure to small brands. Whilst some other retailers have similar platforms, we’d love to see a lot more of this to give smaller businesses a chance to shine and succeed.

What has running your own business taught you?

Things do not happen or move quickly, developing a business takes a lot longer than I would have expected.

There are a huge number of skills required to run a business effectively, fortunately there are a lot of supports and learning opportunities from organisations like Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices that can be access very cheaply or free. Plus, there are several financial supports for learning new skills external to these.

Who are some other Irish foodie brands you draw inspiration from?

This would be mostly smaller brands that are finding new paths in the Market

  • Rebel Chilli
  • Moo’d
  • Unwind

What is next for the company?

We have been working hard to build online sales direct and partner, our initial trust is to consolidate this growth and use our growing subscriber base to promote our products.

Export trade is a big focus now, we have started moving product to Australia and are close to commencing supply to Countries like UAE and Bermuda.

Find out more about Clintons Artisan crisps on their website www.clintonsartisancrisps.com.

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