Northern Ireland-based snack maker Tayto Group has made its entry into the Chinese market having secured its first two orders of hand-fried crisps in the country.

Tayto group sales and marketing director John McQuaid said the shipments to China Merchants Food in Shenzhen and Chinese distribution agent ET2C in Shanghai “are a promising start in what are early days for us in this fast-growing and dynamic marketplace”.

A spokesperson for Tayto, which owns the Golden Wonder brand, said it was still “early days” for the company’s trade in China and Tayto would not be releasing details of the product involved in the “preliminary contract”.

However, CEO Paul Allen, chief executive officer, was upbeat on the group’s growth prospects in China. “Initially we shall be supplying some hand-fried product to China but we are confident that it’s only a matter of time before customers there get a taste for our famous Tayto cheese and onion,” he said. 

Allen continued: “We are continually looking at ways to grow our business, both within the British Isles and further afield, in what is a very competitive marketplace. We are fortunate that the distinctive and diverse flavours of Tayto products have worldwide appeal with consumers. As this new contract indicates, we are seeing growing demand for our products in the Asia/Pacific market.”

Tayto joined 11 other Northern Ireland firms attending the imported food, drink and hospitality event Food Hotel China last week in Shanghai, in cooperation with the regional business development agency Invest NI.

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By GlobalData

Family-owned Tayto Group produces five million bags a day across its five sites in Ireland and the UK. Its snacks portfolio also includes Real Crisps, Mr Porky, Ringos and Tayto.