- This article is about the company; for the potato see Golden Wonder potato; for the aquarium fish see Striped panchax
Golden Wonder is a British company that manufactures snack foods, most notably crisps.
Founded in Stoneyburn in 1947 by the Scottish bakery owner William Alexander, the company was named after the Golden Wonder potato. The company originally had five manufacturing sites. Four sites produced crisps, two in Scotland and two in England (Widnes and Corby). The Welsh site at Crumlin produced the "Pot Noodle". The company was owned by various parent companies including Imperial, Hansen, and was then acquired by UK-based Dalgety plc in 1987. Its notable brands have included,"Wotsits", "Ringos", "Jungle Fresh" peanuts and Pot Noodle, which ceased to carry Golden Wonder branding after the brand (but not the manufacturing business itself) was sold to Unilever. In July 1995 Best Foods paid Dalgety plc about $280 million for its Golden Wonder Pot Noodle instant hot snacks manufacturing business.
Golden Wonder now produces a number of different flavours of potato crisp. It is also the current owner of the XL Crisp brand. Golden Wonder was the former owner of the Wotsits brand, but when the company changed hands in 2002, it was sold off separately to their rival Walkers. Previous snacks Wheat Crunchies, Chips & Burgers and the corn based Nik Naks are now owned by KP.
The company launched the cheese & onion crisp flavour in 1962. This was their first flavoured crisp, the concept having been devised by Tayto in Ireland (not the same company as that which bought Golden Wonder over in 2006) in 1953.
In the 1980s Golden Wonder claimed on television and on their packets to be Britain's Noisiest Crisp. In the 1990s, a popular series of TV commercials with adult actors indulging in childish antics carried another famous slogan: You'll never grow old in Golden Wonder-land!
In 2009 the Golden Wonder brand started to be used by Symingtons Ltd, under licence, for the production of 'Nation's Noodles' and 'The Nation's Pasta'. The new range of instant noodles is very similar to the Pot Noodle range previously produced by Golden Wonder.
Golden Wonder branding now features on snacks previously marketed by Red Mill, another snack manufacturer taken over by Tayto.
Golden Wonder entered into administration on 9 January 2006, threatening about 800 jobs. On 13 January 2006 it was announced that the Corby, Northamptonshire site and the contract to Mini Pringles, as produced by Golden Wonder, would transfer to Northern Irish crisp manufacturer Tayto. The announcement brought the news that 195 of 350 jobs would be saved initially. On 20 January 2006, it was announced that Tayto was to buy all Golden Wonder's UK operations including the Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire site, although it would sell the Wheat Crunchies and Nik Naks brands to United Biscuits.
- City, Our (28 May 2002). "Walkers buys Wotsits in Golden Wonder sale". The Independent (London).
- "Bestfoods -- Company History". fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 3 July 2008.
- "Tayto buys Golden Wonder Crisps". BBC News. 20 January 2006.
- "Golden Wonder sold". theargus.co.uk. 28 May 2002. Retrieved 27 October 2006.
- "United Biscuits - Suitable for Vegetarians (List of United Biscuits / KP Brands suitable for vegetarians)". unitedbiscuits.com. Retrieved 3 July 2008.
- Harrison, Ian (2003). The Book of Firsts. London: Cassell. p. 45. ISBN 1-84403-201-9.
- "Golden Wonder in administration". BBC News. 9 January 2006.