Pennsylvania-based potato chip maker Dieffenbach’s Potato Chips, has launched a new variety of chip: Uglies.
The company introduced the new chips at the 101st Pennsylvania Farm Show, which was held Jan. 7-14 in Harrisburg.
According to the company, the goal of the new brand of chips is to help reduce food waste, and save everyone money.
“This new brand is using potatoes that farmers would likely be throwing away due to minor imperfections,” said Nevin Dieffenbach, owner and CEO of Dieffenbach’s Potato Chips Inc. “Because of this, we’re able to pass on the savings to our customers, and everyone feels like they’ve done some good.”
Dieffenbach’s maintains Uglies offer an environmental message and story.
“The message resounds with people today, no one wants to waste, especially good food, and I think that resonates with today’s generation,” said Dwight Zimmerman, vice-president of sales and marketing for Dieffenbach’s.
According to Zimmerman, Uglies’ concept goes back years, to Mark Dieffenbach, founder of the company, who “never liked to waste anything.” Some of the potatoes stored at the facility after harvest would go “bad,” at least by industry standards – the starch may turn into sugar over time, which creates a darker chip, even though they are perfectly edible.
Decades ago, the company decided to turn these traditionally rejected potatoes into chips anyway and sold them in a plain-label, discounted back of chips in the area, a predecessor of today’s Uglies. “It’s always been a well-known item in the area here, people buy them because they’re good, but we always pushed our premium product,” noted Zimmerman.
“One day we realized, you know what, people love the product and there are so many of these potatoes out there,” he added. In May 2016, the company decided to create a story and market these plain-label bags of chips into something new.
Uglies premiered at the Private Label Manufacturer’s Association show in Chicago last October. Today, Uglies are sold in three flavours: Original Sea Salt, Mesquite BBQ, and Salt & Vinegar.
Stiff in its infancy and only sold in 130 stores in Pennsylvania, Zimmerman estimates the brand has “saved” two loads, or around 100,000 lbs, of potatoes that would have been traditionally rejected.
“The next stage is to expand it to national and larger, regional retailers. The goal is that by the end of 2017, we have it in a few larger chains,” said Zimmerman, who added the company hopes to extend its arms to more rejected potatoes.
“That would be our goal. If we could go out there and says, ‘Hey farmers, if you have a load of good potatoes with minor imperfections, we’ll take them.'”
Source: Potato Pro and foodnavigator-usa.com