Happy Crisp-mas! Staggering 1 MILLION bags of Tayto sent worldwide for Northern Ireland expats
It will be a happy crisp-mas for tens of thousands of Northern Irish people across the world this year.
That's because a staggering one million bags of our favourite snack are being despatched abroad in time for the seasonal festivities.
Tayto's signature cheese and onion is still a firm favourite among expats but other flavours - such as salt and vinegar, prawn cocktail and spring onion, as well as the Tandragee-based company's tasty Onion Rings - are also in big demand.
Elly Hunter, marketing director for Ireland at Tayto, said the snack company's online delivery service had never been more popular.
"We sell 20,000 boxes of crisps from now all the way through to Christmas," she added.
"People from all over the world, including the Northern Ireland diaspora, place orders online.
"We also have regular customers every year who buy them for their children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces."
Ballymena native Angela Barr (43), a patent attorney who has been living in Paris for more than a decade, is a big fan of home deliveries.
"My mum has been sending me boxes of Tayto Cheese & Onion since I moved here," she said.
"It really is lovely to have a taste of home from time to time.
"When I'm back in Northern Ireland visiting family and friends I regularly fly back to France with a bag of Queen's potatoes - you can't beat Northern Irish spuds.
"Veda is another big favourite, and I was once stopped at airport security with a bag of Mortons flour."
A straw poll of Northern Ireland people living abroad unearthed a selection of other much-missed favourites.
These included Cadbury's chocolate, soda bread, wheaten bread and Nambarrie teabags.
Saudi Arabia-based English teacher David Kerr (33), from Kells, said that he hankered after a tradtional Ulster fry, complete with with local bangers.
"The meat tastes better at home and there's nothing like a good fry-up with Cookstown sausages, the ones George Best used to advertise on televison," he added.
A retail trade magazine survey recently found that the Irish emigrant community abroad missed Tayto crisps and Kerrygold butter the most.
Checkout editor Stephen Wynne-Jones said that he expected many top brands to be "shipped out en masse" to hungry expats for yule-tide. Christmas boxes full of Tayto are currently bound for Britain as well as Europe, Australia, New Zealand, America, China, Dubai and more.
Other destinations include Timor, Nepal, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Chile and Qatar.
"It's that whole 'taste of home' idea people are buying into," Ms Hunter said.
"If you cannot be home at Christmas then you want something to remind you of it, and this is a relatively inexpensive way to send a present to someone abroad.
"We've been doing this for years now, and it is a big market.
"But there has been a surge of online orders recently and we're expecting this to be our biggest year."
British deliveries of Tayto cost customers £12 (including postage and packaging).
That rises to £20 for Europe and £25 for other worldwide destinations.