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Prime Minister reveals he is a ‘devotee’ of Tayto crisps as he hosts food market

Prime Minister Boris Johnson receives help as he puts on a bicycle helmet before riding a bike as he visits a UK Food and Drinks market which has been set up in Downing Street, London. Picture date: Tuesday November 30, 2021.

The Prime Minister said he is a “devotee” of Tayto crisps and joked that his figure is “a testimonial” to the benefits of the popular snack from Northern Ireland.

Boris Johnson was hosting a festive food and drink market at Downing Street where 12 businesses from across the UK had stalls to show off their products.

Among the businesses showing their wares were Tayto, Welsh cheese company Snowdonia Cheese, Scottish seafood company Loch Fyne Oysters and English chocolate company Montezuma’s.

Speaking on the street about the businesses on display, Mr Johnson said: “From Northern Ireland we’ve got Tayto crisps. I’m a devotee. My figure is a testimonial to the benefits of Tayto crisps.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Tayto Castle crisp factory in Tandragee (Stefan Rousseau/PA).

“They once gave me…which I declared of course…a big packet of Tayto crisps.”

As the third largest manufacturer of crisps in the UK, Tayto’s crisp production is made from 100% UK and Irish potatoes.

Tayto have been making crisps and snacks since 1956 and they export their products across the world.

Mr Johnson visited the Tayto crisp factory in Tandragee, County Armagh, in November 2019, during a day of election campaigning.

He is not the only public figure in recent days to express fondness for Tayto, as Nigella Lawson also revealed she is a fan.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he visits a UK Food and Drinks market set up in Downing Street (James Manning/PA).

On November 23 she tweeted a picture of lots of packets of crisps, and wrote: “Behold the recently replenished Crisp Cauldron! I can’t say the new fish and chips flavour tastes exactly like fish and chips: it’s more like batter, with a whisper of vinegar. More news as I have it.”

When someone commented that they could not see any cheese and onion crisps, Lawson replied: “The only cheese and onion crisps I like are Tayto ones and I can’t get them where I live #standards”

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Meanwhile, those invited to the event on Downing Street on Tuesday also included the co-founder of Fever-Tree Drinks, the soft drinks company established in 2004, which is now the world’s leading premium mixer brand, exporting to over 80 countries worldwide and selling more than 500 million bottles in 2020.

Mr Johnson also spoke to the owner of Wilkins and Sons, who have been making quality preserves since 1885.

Wilkins and Sons now export to over 60 countries across the world and brought in a turnover of £49 million in 2019 alone.

Boris Johnson talks to a stall holder onboard a converted London bus selling cocktails (Justin Tallis/PA).

Mr Johnson said: “It’s great to see the best of British food and drink here in Downing Street, especially in the run-up to Christmas.

“We currently export to 207 countries but this government is supporting British food and drink exporters to sell even more of their brilliant produce abroad.

“As it’s St Andrew’s Day, I’m looking forward to sampling a Clootie McToot dumpling, some Loch Fyne Oysters and a winter warmer from the Isle of Harris Distillery.”

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