Chipper Chips Project

While qualitative research is my bread-and-butter, stock-in-trade, core business, I like to branch out from time to time into different but related activities. One of these is film. When I went back to college some years back to do an MSc in Interactive Digital Media at Trinity College Dublin (it was the time of the bank collapse, business was quiet) one of the modules was video production. Since then I have set up a subsidiary business – Videoshorts – specialising in research-based promotional short videos for business.

Our latest production (I say ‘our’ because I team up with my son Thaddeus, himself a qualified sound and digital media engineer with a BA from BIMM, in Dublin) has been a short film about chipper chips, commissioned by Bord Bia. We had a lot of fun researching, and then filming, the attitudes of chip shop owners in Ireland to Irish potatoes. The project was the qualitative element of a Bord Bia initiative aimed at encouraging import substitution of Irish grown potatoes to replace the estimated €50 million worth of potatoes imported every year to make chipper chips – a particularly pressing issue to fish & chip shops, to farmers and also to chip-eating consumers, especially in the context of a looming Brexit. Previous quant research (by Bernie Coyne in Coyne Research) found that most consumers assume that chipper chips in Ireland are made from Irish potatoes, that they are surprised to hear that that is not the case and that they would prefer to buy chips made from Irish potatoes.

The qual research involved face-to-face depth interviews, and with an ethnographic element (peeking into the back-rooms of chippers to get to know the process) with chip-ship owners around the country: in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Fermoy, Moycullen, Wexford and Tramore. Chip shop owners really are the nicest people – and they would happily buy Irish, if it can be shown that the product makes quality chips and fits into their hard-working daily routine. Then, final stage of the project, we got out the cameras and the sound recorders and captured a flavour of the working lives and the attitudes of a number of chip-shop owners, and a North Dublin potato farmer. Scripted it, edited it, reviewed and re-edited. You can watch the finished result by clicking on the image below. If you would like to discuss a research-based promotional video for your business, please do get in touch.