Tayto (Republic of Ireland)

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Tayto Snacks
IndustryPotato crisps
Founded25 May 1954; 69 years ago (1954-05-25)
FounderJoe Murphy
Area served
Websitetaytocrisps.ie taytosnacks.ie

Tayto Snacks 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] It owns several brands, including its leading product of Tayto Crisps for which it 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 Ireland,[8] so much so that in November 2010, Tayto opened their own theme park called "Tayto Park" near Ashbourne.[9]

The company is entirely separate from Tayto Group Limited in Northern Ireland, which has different product ranges. Tayto in the Republic of Ireland owns the name and mascot in the Republic of Ireland, Tayto in Northern Ireland owns the trademark for the name and a similar mascot outside the Republic of Ireland. The Northern Irish Tayto is widely sold in both Northern Ireland and Great Britain, while the Republic of Ireland brand is sold in the Republic.

History and ownership[edit]

Logo for the crisps of the same name

Tayto 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.[10]

The company came to be owned by Cantrell and Cochrane (C. & C), and was based in Coolock, Dublin, until that factory was closed in September 2005, with production outsourced to Ray Coyle's Largo Foods. Largo agreed to purchase the brand from C. & C. in May 2006 for €62.3 million.[11]

Coyle sold partial control of the company to German food company Intersnack, and in 2015, he sold his remaining shares, 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 distinct from Tayto in Republic of Ireland, from which it licences the brand.[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, Ray Coyle (who owned Largo Foods and Tayto at the time), opened a theme park named Tayto Park near Ashbourne in County Meath[9] The park remained under Coyle's ownership when Largo Foods and the Tayto brand became part of Intersnack. Factory tours were available in conjunction with visits to the theme park on certain days.[23]

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. Archived from the original on 12 February 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Tayto Snacks becomes the crisp new name for Largo Foods". The Irish Times. 21 March 2013. Archived from the original on 12 February 2019. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Obituary: Joe 'Spud' Murphy". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. 5 November 2001. Archived from the original on 16 April 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  5. ^ "Joe 'Spud' Murphy: The Man Who Gave Potato Chips Flavor". HuffPost. 20 April 2012. Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Tayto crisp barons who made a packet". The Independent. Archived from the original on 23 April 2022. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  7. ^ Hochman, Karen. "A History of the Potato Chip: Page 4: The First Salted & Flavored Potato Chips". The Nibble. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  8. ^ O'Connell, Brian (6 June 2009). "Two packets of Tayto and a bottle of TK ..." The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2010.
  9. ^ a b Casey, Ann. "Opening of Tayto Park near Ashbourne brings 85 jobs". The Meath Chronicle. Archived from the original on 4 August 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  10. ^ "Created world's first cheese and onion crisps". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  11. ^ "C&C Group says to sell Tayto Crisps to Largo Food for 62.3 mln eur". Forbes. 7 May 2006.[dead link]
  12. ^ "After 35 years, the iconic face of Tayto Crisps has stepped away from his company". Fora.ie. Archived from the original on 15 October 2019. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  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] Archived 2 January 2023 at the Wayback Machine "Tayto Lentils". iRadio. Archived from the original on 2 January 2023. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
  17. ^ [5] Archived 2 January 2023 at the Wayback Machine "Our Brands". Tayto Snacks. Archived from the original on 2 January 2023. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  18. ^ "Tayto are mass littering the whole country " Damien Mulley". Mulley.net. 9 May 2007. Archived from the original on 14 November 2012. 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. Archived from the original on 16 May 2022. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  22. ^ "Where is Mr. Tayto?". Where's Mr. Tayto?. Archived from the original on 21 May 2022. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  23. ^ a b Gleeson, Colin. "Tayto Park to be renamed as facility seeks 'new identity'". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 15 February 2022. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  24. ^ "Toasted Heretic in battle with Tayto". Hot Press. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. 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]