Welcoming the Spuds

Welcoming the Spuds

Interview with Shirley Hutner|Photography as noted

When Dieffenbach’s, a family-owned service that specializes in kettle-cooked potato chips, understood blemished potatoes were going to waste, it saw a chance in the market to welcome the imperfect potatoes and turn them into scrumptious potato chips, helping farmers and conserving millions of pounds of potatoes.

hand tossing bag of chips int

© Jackie Cole

When and where did Dieffenbach’s stem as a company?
In 1964, Mark Dieffenbach began making his own potato chips on his kitchen area stove in Berks County, Pennsylvania.

Where did the concept for Uglies come from?
When the company started, we would often receive potatoes that weren’t ideal. They were still excellent potatoes, however they did not fulfill our requirements for a Dieffenbach’s- top quality product. We rather utilized those potatoes to make chips that we sold only in our factory shop.

How do USDA Grades and Standards for Fruits and Vegetables impact the produce industry?
Since 1945, the USDA Grades and Standards for Vegetables And Fruits has actually specified what is “best fruit and vegetables” to the fruit, veggie, and specialty-crop growers and buyers. The requirements are voluntary, produce that does not fulfill these requirements gets declined. We have actually become accustomed to expecting our tomatoes to be perfectly round, our veggies symmetrical, and our fruit unblemished. These expectations have actually increased the costs of fruit and vegetables and developed the problem of food waste. Each year, six billion pounds (26 percent) of produce goes unharvested or unsold for aesthetic factors. Much of the declined produce goes unused and is raked under at the farms or winds up in land fills.

bag of salt and vinegar chips

© Jenny Bowler

Is food waste increasing or reducing?
While the trend of food waste seems increasing, consumers, manufacturers, and sellers are ending up being more aware of the problem and are discovering innovative methods to deal with this crisis.

Where do the potatoes that make Uglies originate from?
We rescue these potatoes at various phases of the supply chain– as far back as the farm all the way to the doorsteps of a potato chip plant.

How does this help farmers?
We are producing a market for these undesirable potatoes and turning a bad circumstance into a positive, not just for the farmer but also for the community and the world.

Will you quickly take us through the procedure of making a potato chip?
We are able to use our very same assembly line for Uglies as we provide for our other root veggie chips. The potatoes are available in via truckload and are placed on a conveyor belt, where they are arranged, cleaned, and peeled. The potatoes are cleaned again and then sliced. The chopped potatoes enter into the kettle to be prepared and are then experienced to perfection, bagged, and loaded into a case.

What flavors do you use?
Original Sea Salt, Barbecue, Buffalo Cattle Ranch, Salt and Vinegar, and Jalapeño.

basket of chips

© Jenny Bowler

What was the concept behind the packaging?
The idea at very first was that we were utilizing turn down potatoes, which is where the thumbs down came from. We took the word “turned down” off the product packaging since some retailers believed we were using inedible potatoes.

Where are Uglies potato chips offered?
Uglies are sold at local supermarket in Pennsylvania and online at Amazon and ugliessnacks.com

How many centers do you have?
Today, we have two facilities– one in Womelsdorf and one a few miles down the road in Bethel.

Does being in Pennsylvania notify some of the decisions the business makes?
We are in the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch area where numerous snack food companies started. We have a great deal of resources in this location for a family company to be effective.

hand grabbing potato chips

© Jackie Cole

What has been the customer action to Uglies potato chips?
Customers likewise like to know they are assisting to minimize food waste and that we are contributing 10 percent of our profits to a regional hunger-fighting organization.

What is the supreme objective for Uglies?
Our objective is to be able to develop a market that is big enough with the Uglies brand that we don’t have to turn away any ugly potatoes. While we saved 1.6 million pounds of potatoes in 2019 alone, there are far a lot of more that went to squander. Along with decreasing food waste, every potato we upcycle into a premium item permits us to donate to the local charity. We love our customers and wish to bring them the best tasting chips in brand-new and amazing tastes while likewise bringing a little enjoyable to their lives with our whimsical product packaging.

For more info, see ugliessnacks.com

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