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Crunch time: Sainsbury’s puts salmon-skin crisps on trial

From left: Sea Chips owners Dom Smith, Jonathan Brown and Daniel Pawson. Photo: Sea Chips.
From left: Sea Chips owners Dom Smith, Jonathan Brown and Daniel Pawson. Photo: Sea Chips.

Store chain Sainsbury’s has started stocking salmon-skin crisps, made from a by-product of the salmon smoking industry.

Sea Chips – which come in lightly salted, lime & chilli and salt & vinegar flavours – cost £1.50 a packet and will be on a three-month trial in the chain’s south of England stores.

The product’s creators, Dan Pawson and Dom Smith, developed the crisps while working as chefs and gained huge publicity for the crisps with an appearance on BBC’s Dragons’ Den, when Pawson turned down an offer from one of the investors who make up the show’s panel.

Sea Chips are now on sale in the south of England. Click on image to enlarge.
Sea Chips are now on sale in the south of England. Click on image to enlarge.

Scaling up

The entrepreneurs have instead teamed up with salmon industry businessman and investor, Jonathan Brown, who has helped them to scale up their business and build a factory in Maryport, Cumbria.

Sea Chips has a supply of salmon skins from Brown’s Grants Smokehouse facility in the west Cumbrian town.

Sainbury’s is selling the Sea Chips as part of its ‘The Taste of the Future’ initiative, launched yesterday, in which it trials innovative products.

Pawson said: “Launching with Sainsbury’s as part of their ‘Taste of the Future’ scheme is a huge milestone for Sea Chips and we’re delighted to have been selected as one the brands to kick of this innovative trial - it is a true testament of our success to date.

Love-or-hate product

“We get mixed reactions from consumers as it’s such a different product - it’s really can be a divide of love and hate. However, our fans certainly outweigh the haters. We’re not here to please everyone - we’re here for real foodies and the health and ethically-conscious consumers.”

Sea Chips’ snacks are gluten-free, a source of omega 3, high in protein (12.5g per 20g pack) and suitable for coeliacs as well as those following diets such to the ketogenic diet or paleo diet.

The company also donates 10% of its profits to ocean charities which work to keep the sea clean.