New Zealand’s Proper Crisps sets up Australian operation

New Zealand company Proper Crisps has opened a crisp manufacturing plant in Yarra Valley, using Australian potatoes for the Australian market.

Selling New Zealand made crisps in Australia since 2019, Proper Crisps saw its Australian sales double in 2021 with the Australian market now accounting for 20 percent of the company’s business.

Andy Leonard, General Manager for Proper Crisps, said the decision to work with Australian potato growers to produce a tailor-made range for the Australian market acknowledges the difference between Australian and New Zealand consumers.

“We believe we make the best crisps in New Zealand and our goal is to also make the best crisps in Australia. Like New Zealanders, Aussies want to know they are supporting local farmers who are working hard to provide great food products for us all. The plant in Yarra Valley gives us the opportunity to work with Australian crisp lovers to make the best crisps for them.”

Since the Agria potato used in the New Zealand operations isn’t commonly grown in Australia, Proper Crisps has been working with an agronomist and local farmers trialling potato varieties and airfreighting them back to New Zealand for taste tests.

“The people who make our crisps in New Zealand and now in Australia are chefs of real food not button pushers. They work hard to capture the perfect thickness, cook, crispness factor and Proper flavours.”

Australian-based staff have been trained to oversee the entire crisp manufacturing process by hand, just as it is done in Nelson, New Zealand.

“The link between the Australian and New Zealand teams will remain strong as our owners and members of our New Zealand leadership team are spending time in Australia running production and supporting the Australian team this year. We will also be bringing lead staff in Australia to Nelson to reinforce our shared culture of doing things the Proper way.”

Nelson will remain the headquarters for Proper Crisps. Products made in Yarra will include Marlborough Sea Salt, Cider Vinegar, Smoked Paprika, Rosemary and Thyme, Onion and Chive, Free Range Sage & Onion and Barbeque Rub. The Home compostable, Vege and Tortilla ranges will continue to be manufactured in New Zealand for now.

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