Keogh’s Crisps ‘share-bag’ sales soar by a third during pandemic

Sales of smaller ‘impulse’ buys in service stations and cafes ‘completely disappeared’

Derek, Ross and Tom Keogh, at Keogh’s potato crisps factory at Keogh’s potato farm, Westpalstown, Oldtown, Dublin. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Derek, Ross and Tom Keogh, at Keogh’s potato crisps factory at Keogh’s potato farm, Westpalstown, Oldtown, Dublin. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Sales of Keogh’s Crisps ‘share bag’ have increased by a third during the pandemic.

Managing director Tom Keogh said that during some months over the past year, sales of the 125g bag have increased by 70 per cent year on year.

“During the pandemic a lot of people have spent more time consuming luxury foods at home and we would be the biggest player in the premium sharing crisp market,” he said.

In contrast, sales of the company’s smaller ‘impulse’ crisp bag, in service stations and coffee shops “has completely disappeared”.

Such sales have been down 90 per cent, but with the recent reopening of society, sales of ‘impulse’ bags are returning “and we see that recovering and we saw the first green shoots of that come in May”, Mr Keogh said.

Underscoring the increased demand for the farm family owned company’s crisps during the pandemic, Mr Keogh said the company’s production capacity has faced serious tests where some weeks volumes increased by 150 per cent “and we were able to deliver”. He said the business has “performed very well” over the past year, but declined to say what the overall revenue increase has been.

Employee numbers have increased by 30 per cent during the pandemic, from 65 to 85. Mr Keogh said that the company hopes to reach 100 employees over the next year and that such a goal is possible “if growth continues the way it is going”.

He said Keogh’s is the largest Irish owned player in the crisp market here with about 10 per cent market share.

Mr Keogh made his remarks when commenting on new abridged accounts showing that Keogh’s Crisps Ltd recorded pre-Covid profits of €99,491 in the 15 months to the end of March 2020.

At the end of March 2020, the company was sitting on accumulated profits of €1.23 million.