The Smith's Snackfood Company

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The Smith's Snackfood Company is a British-Australian company best known for its potato crisps. It is owned by the American multinational corporation PepsiCo. The company produces and markets various snack foods.[1] Smith's Snackvend Stand is the branch of the company that operates vending machines.[2]

Smiths by country[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

Smith's Potato Crisps Ltd. was formed by Frank Smith and Jim Viney in the United Kingdom after World War I. The firm started in Cricklewood, London, reputedly in Smith's garage. In 1927 the company expanded into a factory in Brentford, London, which was enlarged in 1930. During the depression Smith travelled to Australia to expand the business. Smiths was later owned by biscuit company Nabisco, BSN and finally sold to American company PepsiCo in the 1990s. Subsequently Pepsico withdrew the brand, in favour of popular British brand Walkers, which had been heavily marketed in a campaign using ex-footballer turned television presenter Gary Lineker. Many of the products previously owned by Smiths became labelled as Walkers, although there are still several Smiths branded crisps.

Australia[edit]

After establishing the product and name in the UK, Frank Smith moved to Australia to set up the business there.[3] Smith's Crisps were first manufactured in Australia in 1931 with an associate, George Maragos, in leased premises in Sydney's Surry Hills. They were originally made in 20 gas fired cooking pots, then packed by hand and distributed by Nestle confectionery vans.

Smith's Potato Crisps sold its early crisps in three penny packets, 24 to a tin. "Twist of salt" sachets were included before pre-salting had been introduced. In March 1932, Smith's Potato Crisps Ltd. went into voluntary liquidation as a result of the Great Depression. However three months later George Ensor tendered for the business put up for sale by the liquidators, and on 13 May 1932, 'Smith's Potato Crisps (Australia)' was formed with the UK Smith's Company holding a majority interest over minor shareholders. Growth after World War II was rapid so a continuous cooker process was introduced to replace the individual cooking pots and in 1960 the production of a one shilling pack for cinemas and a box pack for four shillings was initiated. In 1961 Smith's introduced its first flavoured crisp - chicken. It was a very popular flavour, influencing most competitors at the time to adopt a Chicken variation. Other flavours released were Original and Salt & Vinegar.

Seven years later Associated Products and Distribution Pty Ltd (APD), partnered with PepsiCo beverages Ltd, which had built up a significant snack food company that sold chips and nuts and bought a 41.5% share of Smith's Potato Crisps (Australia)s parent company. Over the next 20 years other takeovers and new products (including Twisties and Burger Rings brands) drove growth. PepsiCo took over the company in 1998. was formed and in March 1990, the APD name was replaced by 'CCA Snackfoods'.

In 1998, the Smiths Snackfood company was Australia’s largest producer of salty snack foods. It was acquired in August of that year, by Frito-Lay the second largest producer of salt snack foods in Australia, which is owned by PepsiCo. To prevent the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) from intervening for unfair trading practices Frito-Lay divested a range of brands, manufacturing facilities, including plants in Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. The package was named Snack Brands Australia and was sold to Dollar Sweets Holdings. Coincidentally Frito-Lay's British subsidiary Walkers are the successor to the original Smiths Crisps Ltd. of England. Recently, portions contained in "large" bags of Smith's Snackfood products has diminished, from in some cases, 220g down to 175g.

In that package included the brands sold were CC's, Cheezels, Thins and Samboy. They retain the 'crisps' title, despite Australians using the term 'chips' instead.

Pakistan[edit]

Smiths came to Pakistan with the slogan "The World's Best Snacks", a huge product range, but after being sold at double the price of existing chips. As of 2007, only one product is sold.[citation needed]

Products[edit]

Current products[edit]

Previous products[edit]

  • Ruffles – Crinkle Cut potato chips
  • French Fries – Small crisp potatoes straws similar in appearance and taste to french fries - now owned and manufactured by Arnotts
  • Thins – Thinly sliced potato chips) - now owned and manufactured by Arnotts
  • Smiths Jackets Manufactured during the mid-1980s, these were crisps where the potatoes had not been peeled, leaving potato skin around the edges. There was an advert which featured dancing potatoes singing "We want to be jackets" in falsetto voices, and the slogan "So good, every potato wants to be one".
  • Twists manufactured during the 1970s, these were available in Cheese & Onion, Salt & Vinegar, and Ready Salted.
  • Monster Munch – still manufactured, under the Walkers name
  • Frazzles – still manufactured, under the Walkers name
  • Quavers - introduced 1968, now sold under the Walkers name
  • Tubes – manufactured during the 1980s, these were available in Lightly Salted and Salt & Vinegar) [there was even a variation of them in the early 1990s called 'Tuba Loops', in Ready Salted flavour].
  • Fangs – cheese and onion flavoured snack in shape of fangs, manufactured in the 1970s
  • Bones – salt and vinegar flavoured snack in shape of bones, manufactured in the 1970s
  • Claws – bacon flavoured snack in shape of claws, manufactured in the 1970s
  • Bats – manufactured in the 1970s
  • Ribs – manufactured in the 1970s
  • Chipsticks – still manufactured
  • Salt and Shake – still manufactured, under the Walkers name

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]