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 Chips Ab (Chips Group)
Mayo 06, 2010
For a long time Finland had no native potato chip manufacturers. So when a group of entrepreneurs with a high yielding potato farm selling French fries and other potato products were looking for a new way to sell their produce, the market was wide open for them. Inspired by a trip to the U.S. to see how well potato chip manufacturers there were doing, these entrepreneurs decided to bring the idea to Finland, and Chips was born.
“Until then we had only ever had occasional imports, and no domestic production of potato chips,” explains Pasi Flinkman, Manager of Chips’ Finland division.
For a long time after its initial factory was set up at Åland in Haraldsby and started producing potato chips in 1969, the company had the domestic potato chips market completely to itself. This state of affairs wouldn’t last for long however.
“Basically we were alone on the Finnish market until ’87, when another brand came out and competition heated up,” Flinkman explains.
However, far from damaging the Chips business, the competition instead served to increase the Finnish appetite for potato snacks. “Increased competition drove the market and consumption grew to 1.5 kilos per capita, which was a lot at that time,” Flinkman says. “The next big entry to the market was 1999 when Procter and Gamble brought Pringles in, which again drove the market up.
Today the consumption of snacks in Finland is about 2.6 kg per capita- which is very low compared to the UK or even compared to Sweden who have 4 kilos, and Denmark who have 3.7.”
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