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Mackie's launches whisky-flavoured crisps

WATCH out whisky fudge, there's a new contender for the Scotch-themed foodie crown.

Mackie's Crisps has achieved what looks to be a snack sector first by launching a whisky flavoured variety.

The brand, whose crisps are made by the Perthshire-based Mackie's at Taypack joint venture, has introduced a whisky and haggis flavour under its Ridge Cut range. It is joined by another new limited edition flavour, venison and cranberry.

Both make their debut on the shelf in Co-operative food stores in Scotland from today, before appearing in Tesco next month and Asda in October.

The latest additions build on the brand's reputation for making crisps with distinctly Scottish ingredients, with existing flavours including haggis and cracked black pepper and flame-grilled Aberdeen Angus.

The company, which found no evidence of a whisky-flavoured crisp having been launched before, was partly spurred to work with the flavour because its Ridge Cut range lacked a proper Scottish variety.

The recipe has been under development since the start of the year, and various types of whisky flavouring and combinations were tried before the firm settled on whisky and haggis.

Mackie's at Taypack hopes the addition will play well in its export markets, which include Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Middle East, given the popularity of Scotch whisky around the world.

Although it is initially being launched as a limited edition, the company refused to rule out making the whisky and haggis flavour a permanent part of its Ridge Cut range. The range launched in November and has already won a Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Award.

George Taylor, managing director of Mackie's at Taypack, said: "We have been delighted with the uptake of our Ridge Cut range thus far, with sales already in line with our core range.

"We felt it was time to add a Scottish twist to the range as our Scottish flavours have always been very popular. We were particularly keen to try a whisky seasoning as Scotch is so renowned around the world. We tried various combinations and the whisky and haggis pairing came out on top. We are very excited to see the market's reaction to the new flavour lines."

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