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The History of Kettle Brand Potato Chips

Cameron Healy set out to start a health-conscious food company in 1978. He began by selling nuts out of his van. Four years later, he began experimenting with making potato chips. He eventually hit on a kettle-cooked recipe he liked but still needed a name. Originally, he wanted to use a throwback term taken from early 1900s East Coast slang and call them “pot chips,” but on the advice of family, went with “Kettle Brand” instead. Kettle Brand chips quickly gained fans for their crunchy texture and array of unique flavors. For five years during the 2000s, Kettle Brand even ran a “People’s Choice” campaign that gave fans the chance to vote on which flavor the company would make next. While some winners have since been discontinued, such as 2009’s Fully Loaded Baked Potato, others have stood the test of time. The campaign ended in 2009 and in 2010, Diamond Foods bought Kettle Brand chips. In addition to their unique flavors, which currently include Honey Dijon, Bourbon BBQ, and Pepperoncini, the brand is also known for its sustainability practices, which include running company cars off biodiesel made from vegetable oil waste, using solar panels, and maintaining a community garden (the harvest is donated to a local food share program). Today, Kettle Brand potato chips remain a cult favorite and are available at most grocery stores around the country.

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