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Embracing the Spuds

Interview with Shirley Hutner | Pictures as notorious

When Dieffenbach’s, a family-owned industry that specializes in kettle-cooked potato chips, realized blemished potatoes had been going to destroy, it noticed an opportunity available in the market to contain the corrupt potatoes and turn them into delicious potato chips, helping farmers and saving hundreds and hundreds of pounds of potatoes.

hand tossing bag of chips int

© Jackie Cole

When and the build did Dieffenbach’s make as a firm?

In 1964, Mark Dieffenbach started making his personal potato chips on his kitchen stove in Berks County, Pennsylvania. His chips changed into totally-liked by family and chums; a dinky while later he built his personal kettle cookers, which the third skills of the Dieffenbach family stills makes employ of this day. Because the industry grew, Mark well-known elevated fryers and expanded from his kitchen to a dinky plant in the garage.

Where did the foundation for Uglies advance from?

When the firm started, we would most ceaselessly receive potatoes that weren’t supreme. They had been soundless gigantic potatoes, however they didn’t meet our standards for a Dieffenbach’s-branded product. We as an replacement extinct these potatoes to develop chips that we sold handiest in our factory retailer. Customers loved them, so we determined to develop the nationwide ticket Uglies. They had been launched on the Pennsylvania Farm Command in 2017. The emblem has taken off, and we have saved over 3.4 million potatoes since then.

How form USDA Grades and Requirements for Fruits and Greens hold an affect on the form industry?

Since 1945, the USDA Grades and Requirements for Fruits and Greens has outlined what is “supreme form” to the fruit, vegetable, and specialty-cleave growers and traders. Even supposing the criteria are voluntary, form that doesn’t meet these standards will get rejected. We’ve change into conversant in expecting our tomatoes to be completely spherical, our vegetables symmetrical, and our fruit unblemished. These expectations hold pushed up the costs of form and created the subject of food destroy. Every twelve months, six billion pounds (26 p.c) of form goes unharvested or unsold for graceful causes. Significant of the rejected form goes unused and is plowed below on the farms or finally ends up in landfills.

bag of salt and vinegar chips

© Jenny Bowler

Is food destroy rising or reducing?

While the kind of food destroy appears to be rising, customers, producers, and outlets are turning into more attentive to the grunt and are finding ingenious programs to handle this crisis.

Where form the potatoes that develop Uglies advance from?

We rescue these potatoes at diversified stages of the provision chain—as some distance serve because the farm your entire manner to the doorsteps of a potato chip plant.

How does this assist farmers?

We are constructing a market for these undesirable potatoes and turning a injurious subject right into a clear, no longer correct for the farmer however additionally for the neighborhood and the planet.

Will you in short seize us by the route of of organising a potato chip?

We are able to make employ of our similar manufacturing lines for Uglies as we form for our other root vegetable chips. The potatoes advance in by truckload and are placed on a conveyor belt, the build they’re sorted, washed, and peeled. The potatoes are washed but again and then sliced. The sliced potatoes streak into the kettle to be cooked and are then seasoned to perfection, bagged, and packed right into a case.

What flavors form you provide?

Well-liked Sea Salt, Barbecue, Buffalo Ranch, Salt and Vinegar, and Jalapeño.

basket of chips

© Jenny Bowler

What used to be the foundation on the serve of the packaging?

We wished to develop packaging that if truth be told conveyed our ticket, Uglies. The premise in the originate used to be that we had been the employ of reject potatoes, which is the build the thumbs down came from. But we took the word “rejected” off the packaging on account of some outlets thought we had been the employ of inedible potatoes. We wished in an effort to add a bit of fun to our packaging, and that is how Sir Spudly came to be. Every net has a clear model of Sir Spudly carrying some construct of hat, like a cowboy hat or a top hat.

Where are Uglies potato chips sold?

Uglies are sold at local grocery shops in Pennsylvania and on-line at Amazon and

What number of facilities form you hold?

True now, we have two facilities—one in Womelsdorf and one about a miles down the road in Bethel.

Does being in Pennsylvania uncover some of the choices the firm makes?

We are in the coronary heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch space the build many snack food companies started. We hold a form of sources in this space for a family firm to assign success.

hand grabbing potato chips

© Jackie Cole

What has been the client response to Uglies potato chips?

We hold had a huge response—customers cherish the product. I used to be correct on the cell phone with a shopper the day prior to this who acknowledged our barbecue seasoning used to be the correct she ever tasted. Customers additionally seize to know they’re helping to lower food destroy and that we are donating 10 p.c of our earnings to a local hunger-fighting group.

What’s the closing plan for Uglies?

Our plan is so that you can construct a market that is great ample with the Uglies ticket that we don’t must show away any grotesque potatoes. While we saved 1.6 million pounds of potatoes in 2019 alone, there are some distance too many more that went to destroy. Along with reducing food destroy, every potato we upcycle right into a premium product permits us to donate to the local charity. We like our customers and are searching to bring them the correct tasting chips in new and engaging flavors while additionally bringing a bit of fun to their lives with our whimsical packaging.

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