Monday, 22 July 2013

An open letter to Mr Tayto!

Dear Mr Tayto,

I have always loved your crisps. They are as much a part of childhood in Ireland as playing keepy upies and watching Bosco. 

Now that I live in England I don't have the same easy access to Taytos, but my mum uses all of her (not very large) Ryanair cabin baggage allowance to bring me a supply whenever she comes.  She has to leave her toiletry bag in my house so she has room for all the crisps, that's how much I love them (and I'm not joking about the toiletry bag!)
All other cheese and onion crisps are pale imitations of your original and best flavour- they are bland, bland, bland in comparison. (Ok, King crisps come a close-ish second, but you can't get them over here either, as you know because you make them too. Gold and silver in the best cheese and onion crisp category- well done!)

Tayto go with almost every other food type, and I can see where you were going with the crisp flavoured chocolate,but that didn't quite hit the mark and was a step too far. However, I digress, that's not what I'm writing to you about!

When we were home in Ireland for a holiday in July I was very excited to have the opportunity to visit Tayto Land. What an idea-combining fun and flavour- what more could you want?! I packed up my 2 kids and hubby and off we went with a picnic for a day out- oh the excitement! Well, excitement for me anyway. My husband (a Brit) was reared on Walkers and doesn't appreciate the true wonder of the Tayto flavour. My daughters are familiar with 'mummy's special crisps' but had not fully understood the legend that is Mr Tayto.  

Things changed that day in July.  My older daughter chased Mr Tayto all over the park trying to get a photo and making him wave (the poor old guy must have been close to having a heart attack in that suit on the hottest day of the year so far). My  22 month old can't quite talk, but she now points maniacally and mutters 'Tay-yo,Tay-yo' whenever she sees anyone in a red suit (God knows how we're going to explain that to Santa at Christmas time!) 

Both the girls wanted a Tayto souvenir- Alexandra, the 4 year old, got the teddy and Katya got the plastic money box (probably a good job Katya chose the more robust Mr Tayto as he has been dumped in the bath and paddling pool on a number of occasions since- perhaps mistaken for a duck in a suit rather than a crisp in a suit in the eyes of an almost two year old? Alex's plush Mr Tayto on the other hand has become Mrs Tayto and married the plastic fellow, despite the paddling pool gunk and soap scum that is starting to build on him!)


But I digress again! We had a great day at the park and your marketing department did an impressive job on the impressionable minds of my young daughters. The disappointment came when your lovely staff member sitting in the big Tayto lorry handed us each a bumper bag of Taytos to take home at the end of the day.  Alex was dying to try her Taytos, but I had to grab the bag off her and explain that Taytos contain gluten. Alex is a coeliac so gets very sick if she eats any wheat or gluten containing products. I couldn't explain to her why there was gluten in the crisps, when there isn't in cheese, onion, potatoes or sunflower oil but how and ever, she couldn't eat them. There are approximately 45,000 people with Coeliac disease in Ireland currently. If you made gluten-free Taytos and if each one of those people with Coeliacs bought a bag of Taytos just once that would make you over £20,000 gross. If you did a better job on gluten-free crisps than you did on the chocolate, then I bet all the Coeliacs would buy a lot more than one bag, meaning mega-bucks. If you made Taytos that didn't contain gluten, my mum would probably pay to put a big bag in the hold on Ryanair  to carry them over to England,so you could ask Ryanair for a share or two for the increase in their business too!

Please, please, please consider making gluten free Taytos so that I can introduce my daughter to your unique and fantastic flavour and all of my Coeliac friends can escape crisp blandness!

With thanks for your consideration,

Jen

17 comments:

  1. jessie lewis30 July 2013 02:22

    Definitely should make gluten free taytos (I'm ceoliac ) :)

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  2. very well said....my daughter is a coeliac too and we had a great day in your park on July 19th and again she was disappointed when she could not eat the Taytos that were provided at the end of the visit...we would def buy gluten free taytos if they came on the market!

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  3. Excellent blog, well said. We are a family of five with one coeliac who avoid tayto products now, so there is a multiplier effect too.

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  4. OOOOoooooooo imagine! Gluten free Tayto...... Drooooollllll.....
    Signed, A Coeliac. ;-)

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  5. Well said, my daughter is a coeliac and she couldn't go on her school trip to tayto Factory in N.Ireland as it was too risky!!

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  6. I'm a coeliac, diagnosed 2010, grew up on tayto, really miss decent crisps especially a tayto sambo, I'd defo buy them I actually don't buy them for my kids as I've crave them so loosing more sales lol, I know we're small fish in a big crisp pond, at least think about making them GF :)

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  7. Im the only coeliac in a house of six we dont buy tayto at all now and we would have all had some for lunches or snacks growing up when i was diagnosed the first thing i really hated not having was tayto. It would be amazing if they could just remove that one little ingredient

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  8. I am also Coeliac and am aware that there is a high percentage with the condition living in Ireland and being that it is thought to be hereditary, it will continue to grow so the demand for gluten free produce will always be there. The majority of crisps on the supermarket shelves do unfortunately contain gluten in some form or another. It would be nice for the kids to be able to have something on visiting the amusement park to avoid feeling excluded. It is hard enough living with the illness but even harder to explain to a child why they cannot have something like the rest of the children.

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  9. I too am Coeliac since 2012 and after over 40 years of eating Tayto crisps i have had to defect to Tesco own brand as they are gluten free. I would love to buy Irish but it is impossible in this case. I add my pleas to this list to make Tayto gluten free.

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  10. Well said, my daughter who is 5 years is Coeliac and she would so love the yummy unique taste of Taytos. They are the family favourite and we just don't get them anymore since she was diagnosed 2 years ago because we don't want her to feel different to the rest of the family so please please make Taytos gluten free so we can ALL enjoy them again !!

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  11. Even better if they were sold at a reasonable price. I am sick to death paying over the odds for gf crisps, its a complete ripoff. COME ON TAYTO you CAN do it!!!!!!!!!

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  12. I would definitely be interested in how or why the gluten is introduced to the crisps.

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  13. Hey MR.Tayto,am an old friend of yours and I too am disappointed I cannot eat your crisps AM now celiac for past five years. No chance you guys came come with a recipe gluten and soy free? Hi MR. Ray hope all is well!

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  14. Guess what Mr Tayto? I too am coeliac and like nearly every other post here I grew up eating Tayto. It can be done ...... you know it makes sense. Keep you old(er!) friends happy and make some new ones! Gluten Free all the way! :-)

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  15. Thank you for all of the lovely comments of support. I still have not heard anything back from Mr Tayto (I guess he is a very busy crisp), but will post his response if and when I do.

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  16. Great news- a positive response from Mr Tayto! http://gluten-free-kid.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/a-positive-response-from-man-inside.html

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