DK Potatoes Purple Potato Chips get rave reviews

Peter Scott branded the purple potato chips DK's Purple Potato Chips, named after his late farmer father, David Keith (DK) Scott.

Potato Farmer Peter Scott from the Otways region in Victoria, Australia could soon become the region's most famous person since another Otways potato farmer, Cliff Young, won the Sydney to Melbourne ultramarathon in 1983.

Peter Scott expects to make up to a million packages of purple potato chips this year. And like Cliffy, Mr Scott's quest hasn't been a short sprint. He said it took six years of slog to find the purple potato variety most suited to be kettle-cooked to make crispy chips.

The result is DK's Purple Potato Chips, named after his late farmer father, David Keith (DK) Scott.

(Click to enlarge)

Potato Field in Otways

The rave reviews from taste-tests with locals and tourists spurred him on, although "a lot of them were suspicious that we'd dyed the potato. They didn't believe that a potato could be that purple."

Mr Scott said after knockbacks from two Australian crisp manufacturers (one deemed the crisps "too dark"), the third agreed to a trial run of 12,000 packets last winter, which sold out in five weeks.

Sales from 91,000 packets produced in December are tracking so well, the aim is to produce 100,000 more by March and a total, for 2017, of between 750,000 and a million packets.

Bags of DK Purple Potato Chips

A NSW farm is signed up to supply enough potatoes, along with Mr Scott's at Gerangamete, 30 kilometres south of Colac.

Mr Scott says he rejected a sales deal with a major supermarket, because it wanted control over ingredients and cooking methods.

He also feared it would whittle his profit margin, so he has gone "minimalist" with distribution, helped by a Geelong wholesaler.

The chips are currently sold at about 10 Melbourne outlets including Toscano's greengrocers in Kew and LaManna supermarket in Essendon Fields; and in 12 stores around the Otways.

Potato Farmer Peter Scott shows off one of his genuinely purple chips in front of the next crop of purple potatoes at Gerangamete, Victoria (Australia)

Mr Scott said the state government, through Agriculture Victoria, will get a cut of royalties from production of the potato variety they are made from, Purple Crisp, because Agriculture Victoria owns the variety and its scientists bred it. And grower organisation Horticulture Innovation Australia will get royalties because it also contributed funds.

But Mr Scott alone profits from the crisps, as he will from producing red chips, due for release in March, made from the red Crimson Pearl potato variety.

Peter Scott sees himself as a curious person, "out to produce a better quality snack food". So it can hardly be surprising to hear that he is experimenting with potato wedges and french fries lines and will trial other colours.