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  • Belgian potato chip manufacturer Roger & Roger invests €10 million in Croky Plant
The Roger & Roger potato chip plant in Mouscron, Belgium (Courtesy: Google)

The Roger & Roger potato chip plant in Mouscron, Belgium (Courtesy: Google)

The snack manufacturer Roger & Roger wants to conquer the world with its chips. The company added corn tortillas and gluten-free chips to boost his growth.

Did you know?

Each year, the Belgian consumes nearly 4 kilos of chips. It is half as much as its Dutch neighbor but double of the French who are content with 2 kg of fried potatoes on their plates.

Top 4 tastes in Belgium: paprika, salt, pepper & salt and bolognese.

In Belgium, two large players share the cake... Lay's, a brand of the US giant PepsiCo and Roger & Roger who, since the end of last century, never ceases to expand its facilities in Mouscron.

37% of the Belgian market

Roger & Roger, who are also active in frozen vegetables, is much better known under its trademark Croky bought from a British consortium in 2004. The company in Mouscron says it holds a market share of 37%, of which 25% through "Private Label" brands and the rest through Croky.

Yves De Vinck, CEO of Roger & Roger and son-in-law of the founder warns:

"We do not usually communicate with the media because our business is 100% family and it is not in our mentality."

Patrick Declerck, president of the soccer club of Mouscron, helped us to open the doors of the site. In its gigantic chips factory in Mouscron, Roger & Roger today employs just over 300 people.

Here, one million packets of chips are packed each day out of a total of 38 packing lines. The plant runs 7 days a week with five shifts a day.

No less than 700 tonnes of potatoes are sent to Mouscron every day to be washed, sorted, peeled and cut into thin slices. Cooking ovens require 60,000 liters of high oleic sunflower oil daily (rich in monounsaturated fatty acids) to make them crunchy. Once packaged, Roger & Roger's prized packages leave for around thirty countries.

Yves De Vinck:

"Every year our R&D department creates new flavours to wow consumers."

Yves De Vinck says that today the palette consists of 158 flavors and aromas.

Roger & Roger achieved a turnover of 120 million euros last year. 90% Of its revenues come from exports to key countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland. Nearly 70% of the production is for private labels "but our intention is to grow our brand Croky by making it more well-known," says the CEO.

Constant reinvention

Yves De Vinck:

"Every year we invest around 10% of our turnover to improve our automation lines but also embark on new productions."

For the past three years, Roger & Roger has commissioned two tortilla manufacturing lines based on corn kernels.

Since last year, many resources are going towards gluten-free chip production.

Yves De Vinck:

"Our goal is to offer a wide range of gluten free products as quickly as possible, but this requires a complete reset of all our lines."

More than 10 million euros (USD 12 million) will be invested this year to grow the chip business in Mouscron.