Pipers Crisps is one of Britain's best-known crisp brands, using local Lincolnshire potatoes and selected flavour partners. Pipers wanted to understand how to extend shelf life and improve the flavour and quality of their premium products.
Pipers teamed up with the University of Nottingham through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), supported by Innovate UK. Working with Dr Deepa Agarwal and Professor Ian Fisk, the research developed a better understanding of flavour and flavour instability to extend shelf life, ensure product consistency and develop new flavours.
Market research was also carried out to investigate flavour preferences of the general public. The research team found that people preferred to eat vegetarian snacks in the day. Pipers also wanted to create a new flavour that wasn’t too spicy. The result was the introduction of two new vegetarian flavoured crisps – Wild Thyme and Rosemary and Jalapeño and Dill.
As a result of the KTP, the company embedded a number of new processes and decision making tools into their new production development and manufacturing processes.
It also enabled Pipers Crisps to increase shelf life of unsalted and salted crisps, which allowed for less wastage and the opportunity to export products to the United States and South East Asia. With a greater understanding of flavour, Pipers were able to create two brand new flavours and enter new global markets.
Pipers Crisps founder Alex Albone said: “We’re delighted with the contribution the Knowledge Transfer Partnership has made to our brand, putting real science behind the things we do and giving us sound evidence for our decision making. This will help us raise our quality standards even higher, and allow us to develop new and successful products in the future. The passion our people have always brought to our crisp making, backed up with the latest science, will help us stay ahead of the competition with even tastier crisps.”