Who remembers Rileys Crisps? Alongside standard flavours such as Cheese & Onion and Salt & Vinegar, Rileys created some pretty unusual ones, including New Potatoes with Mint, Scampi & Lemon and Grouse flavour.
Rileys Crisps was founded in 1947, just after the end of the Second World War, by Bill Riley, son of a fish & chip shop owner in Scunthorpe.
Rationing was still in place, and with Smiths dominating the potato crisp market, starting out must have been a risky prospect. By 1947, however, Rileys was producing 100 tins of crisps a day. The company weathered a vegetable oil shortage during the Korean War in the 1950s, despite the oil being rationing in Britain for two whole years. By 1972, Rileys had become a multi-million pound business.
Like many crisp producers, the company changed hands several times: in 1981, the company changed its name to Sooner Foods. A year later it was sold to Rowntree Mackintosh in a deal worth £13.5million. After further takeovers and acquisitions, Sooner Foods became part of Golden Wonder in 1992 and Rileys snacks were rebranded with the Golden Wonder logo.
Storm unearths ancient family picnic
In March this year a storm uncovered an old family picnic bag on Formby Beach. The bag contained a variety of snacks from the 1970s, including an empty Murphy’s Prawn Cocktail flavour crisp packet, Crispi Ready Salted, and two packets of Riley’s Salt & Vinegar flavour crisps. Amazingly, one of the packets of Riley’s crisps appears to still contain crisps. It’s a bit disturbing that everything is in such good condition after half a century buried in the sand. [Via Liverpool Echo.]