Pringles are officially crisps, following a ruling by the Court of Appeal that is set to cost maker Procter & Gamble tens of millions of pounds in taxes.

P&G failed to convince appeal court judges that Pringles were not crisps but food – which would have exempted the product from VAT.

But a High Court judge ruled yesterday that the taxman could now charge 20p VAT for every £1.45 pack sold.

Lawyers acting for the Inland Revenue advised the High Court that the VAT due on the sale of Pringles was “as much as £100m of tax for the past and about £20m a year for the future”.

P&G, which had previously claimed that the 33% flour and fat content of Pringles made the product a snack rather than a crisp, said it was disappointed by the ruling.