As Pete points out, recent machinations in the crisp industry have impacted heavily on the UK pubgoing experience. The Brannigans Crisps brand has been brought under the umbrella of the McCoy’s brand (or, to give them their full pompous title, ‘The Real McCoy’s – Accept No Imitations’). One result of this corporate manoeuvring is that Brannigans, previously available in paper(ish) bags, are now offered in horrible shiny bags, thus robbing them of their former rustic appeal.

Comparing the brands, both of which were widely available in pubs, it seems a strange decision to merge the two. Brannigans, personified by boatered-and-aproned Mr Brannigan on the packet, was a very British product, sold in ‘meat and two veg’ flavours (Roast Chicken and Stuffing, Smoked Ham and Pickle, Roast Beef and Mustard, and, for vegetarians, Mature Cheddar and Onion).

McCoy’s on the other hand promotes itself as ‘The Big Chip from The Big Country’; the big country being Canada. The more melodramatic amongst us might consider the rebranding of Brannigans as nothing more than another example of Canadian cultural imperialism.

Both brands are owned by KP and the distinction between them is neatly drawn on their websites. Brannigans has a pubguide, for what it’s worth, and a virtual brewery tour, making the point that it is primarily a pub snack. McCoys has a risible Shockwave effort, which makes it clear that its consumers are a sad bunch indeed.

A final thought – you might wish to support the admirable work of the UK crisp guide. Check out the bag navigator.