Thursday, November 08, 2012

An ode to generic potato chips

I take a lot of heat from family and friends for being cheap. First off, I'm not cheap, I'm frugal. There's a difference. The biggest area of frugality is my love of generic potato chips. I'm not talking about store brand potato chips because those are always busted and greasier than any snack food should be. I'm referring to the generic, black and white 1 lb. box of potato chips. The box itself is white a simple sans serif font set in black. It's cheaper to print using only black and using a standard white chipboard box is the cheapest form of packaging.

My friends and family wince a bit each time I show up at a party or get-together with my 16 oz. 2/Pac box of potato chips in hand. They taunt me for being an old cheap guy but they always end up eating those potato chips. To me it's a far better bargain than the constantly-shrinking boxes that Old Dutch churns out but with the proliferation of gourmet potato chips (think every imaginable type of seasoning including BBQ sauce and ketchup) flooding the market, I am fearful that my trusty standby black and white 16 oz. boxes of generic potato chips will be squeezed out of even the most obscure grocery stores and supermarkets.

Having said that and not knowing the name or address of the company which makes these tried and true potato chips, I will instead post my letter of appreciation here:

Dear Generic Potato Chip Company,

For the better part of three decades I have been a consumer of your potato chips. Through prosperous times and through tough times, your standard 16 oz. packaging has never changed while your name-brand competition has shrunk the weight of its packages numerous times throughout my 33 years of living in Minnesota.

I'm fairly certain I was first introduced to your fine product in  my earliest days of growing up in southern Minnesota as my parents routinely shopped at the local warehouse market where customers had to write the prices of each item on the package with a grease pen. Times were primitive but even as the nation transitioned to barcodes, your fine company stood by the 16 oz. packages which were a fine value for a fine product.

Flash forward about thirty years and while your delicious potato chips are becoming more scarce -- likely negatively affecting your company's sales -- you continue to provide the same amazing value I remember from some thirty years ago. While seemingly every package around us has shrunk while the prices increased, your packages remain the same 16 oz. size that I brag about to anyone who will listen.

I might not be your biggest consumer of your top-notch brand of potato chips but I just may be your biggest fan and biggest brand ambassador.

Keep up the excellent work and I hope you keep producing the same consistent value I have grown to love throughout the years.



Jules said...

This is the first post dedicated to potato chips I've ever read, and I've been around here a while. Well done, Sornie. find something you love and never let go of it. Woot! We don't have that brand up here, but I feel inspired to eat some now. Might have to dive into Thanan's stash of Halloween goodies.

steve said...

Just found this blog while searching 'generic chips'. I bet there would be a market for the old fashioned generic products of yesteryear. I would LOVE to take these chips on my usual group outings. Now, I just have to find someplace local that carries them. Thanks for the memories!