Tayto (Republic of Ireland)

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Tayto Crisps
IndustryPotato crisps
Founded25 May 1954; 68 years ago (1954-05-25)
Ashbourne, County Meath
Republic of Ireland
Area served
Republic of Ireland
Websitetaytocrisps.ie taytosnacks.ie

Tayto Crisps is a crisps and popcorn manufacturer in Ireland, founded by Joe Murphy in May 1954[1][2] and owned by German snack food company Intersnack.[3] Tayto invented the first flavoured crisp production process.[4] The first seasoned crisps produced were Cheese & Onion.[5][6] Companies worldwide sought to buy the rights to Tayto's technique.[7] Tayto crisps are a cultural phenomenon throughout Republic of Ireland,[8] so much so that in November 2010, Tayto opened their own theme park called "Tayto Park" near Ashbourne.[9]

Tayto Crisps manufactured in the Republic of Ireland by Tayto Snacks should not be confused with Tayto Limited in Northern Ireland, which is a completely separate brand. The Northern Irish Tayto is widely sold in Northern Ireland and Great Britain whereas Tayto is sold in Republic of Ireland only.


The Republic of Ireland company Tayto was owned by Largo Foods. It was previously owned by Cantrell and Cochrane (C. & C), and was based in Coolock, County Dublin, until their factory was closed in September 2005 and production was outsourced to Largo. Largo agreed to purchase the brand from C. & C. in May 2006 for €62.3 million.[10]

In 2015, Ray Coyle sold his remaining shares of Largo foods to German food company Intersnack, ending the Irish ownership of the company.[3] In Northern Ireland, Tayto Limited is still owned and run by the Hutchinson family and is totally different to Tayto in Republic of Ireland.[11]

The original Tayto crisp factory was founded in 1954 in Dublin by a local man known as Joe 'Spud' Murphy, who is credited with having invented the world's first flavoured crisp.[12]


A bowl of Tayto Cheese & Onion flavour potato crisps

Tayto crisps come in several flavours: Cheese & Onion, Salt & Vinegar, Smokey Bacon, Prawn Cocktail, and the limited edition flavour Tex Mex.[13]

In the early 2000s, the company targeted the healthy eating market, with its low salt, low fat crisps, originally branded as Honest.[14] Tayto referred to this range as the Happy & Healthy range.[15] The healthy range has since evolved and Tayto have launched Tayto Lentils which is 40% less fat to target the healthy eating market. [16]

Tayto Snack's portfolio of brands in the Republic of Ireland includes Tayto, King, O'Donnells of Tipperary, Hunky Dorys, Hula Hoops, Popchips, KP, Penn State, Pom-bear, & McCoy's. [17]


Tayto has used its mascot, Mr Tayto, in a number of marketing campaigns with previous endorsers such as Westlife. In the 2007 Irish General Election, Tayto ran an advertising campaign with Mr Tayto as a fake election candidate.[18] Tayto claimed that the number of spoiled votes in the Carlow–Kilkenny constituency indicate that some actually voted for their mascot, but this is purely speculative.[19] Tayto was fined during the campaign for littering, due to its fake election posters being posted in public places.[20]

In 2009 Tayto Ltd. published The Man Inside the Jacket, a fictional autobiography of Mr Tayto written by Maia Dunphy, Ciaran Morrison and Mick O'Hara. Tayto indicated that a percentage of the cover price would go to Irish charity Aware, which assists people affected by depression, bipolar disorder and related mood conditions.[citation needed]

In May 2022 the Mr. Tayto mascot was removed from all Cheese & Onion packaging, and a "Where Is Mr. Tayto" tagline was added.[21] Later that month, a statement was made from Mr. Tayto's official social media accounts which claimed that Mr. Tayto was taking a break from work to see the world, beginning the "Mr. Tayto's Bucket List" campaign.[22]

Tayto Park[edit]

In November 2010, Tayto, in association with Ray Coyle, a local businessman, opened a theme park, "Tayto Park", near Ashbourne in County Meath[9] In February 2022, it was announced that the existing title sponsorship contract would not be renewed, with the park renamed to "Emerald Park" when the existing contract expired in January 2023.[23]

Legal action[edit]

In 2006, Tayto tried to compel Irish band Toasted Heretic to destroy all copies of their album Now in New Nostalgia Flavour, which featured an image based on the trademarked "Mr Tayto" icon,[24] although the image had been used since 1988 on Toasted Heretic's cassette album Songs for Swinging Celibates.[25]


  1. ^ TaytoCrisps.ie Archived 5 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "THE TAYTO CRISP CO – Irish Company Info". SoloCheck. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Tayto Snacks becomes the crisp new name for Largo Foods". The Irish Times. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Obituary: Joe 'Spud' Murphy". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. 5 November 2001. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  5. ^ "Joe 'Spud' Murphy: The Man Who Gave Potato Chips Flavor". HuffPost. 20 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Tayto crisp barons who made a packet". The Independent. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  7. ^ Hochman, Karen. "A History of the Potato Chip: Page 4: The First Salted & Flavored Potato Chips". The Nibble.
  8. ^ O'Connell, Brian (6 June 2009). "Two packets of Tayto and a bottle of TK ..." The Irish Times.
  9. ^ a b Casey, Ann. "Opening of Tayto Park near Ashbourne brings 85 jobs". The Meath Chronicle. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  10. ^ "C&C Group says to sell Tayto Crisps to Largo Food for 62.3 mln eur". Forbes. 7 May 2006.[dead link]
  11. ^ "After 35 years, the iconic face of Tayto Crisps has stepped away from his company". Fora.ie.
  12. ^ "Created world's first cheese and onion crisps". The Irish Times.
  13. ^ [1] Archived 18 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ [2] Archived 18 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ [3] Archived 17 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ [4] "Tayto Lentils". iRadio. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
  17. ^ [5] "Our Brands". Tayto Snacks. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  18. ^ "Tayto are mass littering the whole country " Damien Mulley". Mulley.net. 9 May 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  19. ^ [6] Archived 11 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Don'T Fine Me, Urges Willie Over His Posters – By Anne Sheridan – Local – Limerick Leader". Limerickleader.ie. 6 June 2007. Archived from the original on 13 January 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  21. ^ "Has anyone seen Mr Tayto?". JOE.ie. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  22. ^ "Where is Mr. Tayto?". Where's Mr. Tayto?. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  23. ^ Gleeson, Colin. "Tayto Park to be renamed as facility seeks 'new identity'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  24. ^ "Toasted Heretic in battle with Tayto". Hot Press. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  25. ^ "Toasted Heretic original official website". Archived from the original on 7 December 2003. Retrieved 18 April 2010.

External links[edit]