Random Potato Chip Fact
Random Potato Chip Fact

45 Crunchy Facts about Potato Chips

By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published December 17, 2017
  • Barbeque chips were the first type of flavored potato chip.[1]
  • The most popular potato chip flavor in America is plain, followed by barbeque, and then sour cream and onion.[26]
  • Laura Scudder created the first modern bag of potato chips in 1953. Previously, they were sold out of wooden barrels or scooped from behind glass counters.[19]
  • Potato chip bags are not full of air. Rather, they are filled with nitrogen gas. The nitrogen prevents the chips from oxidizing, or turning stale.[18]
  • The sound of crunching adds to the pleasure of eating chips. Snackers who eat chips with headphones on report becoming bored with chips more quickly.[25]
  • Potato Chip Statistic
    The United States leads the world in potato chip consumption
  • Americans eat about 1.85 billion pounds of potato chips, or about 6.6 pounds per person annually.[1]
  • On September 13, 2013, Corkers Crisps in Pymoor, UK, created the largest bag of potato chips on record: 2, 515 lb. 7.52 oz. (1,141 kg).[12]
  • Potato chips are the number one culprit for weight gain because they are high in fat and highly addictive.[20]
  • In the last 50 years, there have been over 100 different varieties of Doritos.[17]
  • Lay's was the first successfully marketed national brand of potato chip.[2]
  • In Britain, potato chips are called "crisps." They say "chips" when they mean "fries."[2]
  • The earliest known potato chip recipe is found in William Kitchiner's cookbook The Cook's Oracle, which was published in 1817.[2]
  • It takes about 11 million gallons (41.6 million liters) of milk to make a year's worth of Cheetos in North America. 
    [5]
  • Worldwide, the market value of potato chips is anticipated to reach $40.3 billion by 2022.[8]
  • I could just have chips and salsa for dinner every day.

    - Mia Hamm

  • Cheetos come in 50 flavors around the world, including fizzy Pepsi in Japan, ketchup in Poland, strawberry in Russia, and peanut-covered in Europe.[5]
  • Before Cheetos used Chester Cheetah as a mascot, the company was represented by an unnamed mouse.[5]
  • Cheetos are designed to be addictive. In what is is known as "vanishing calorie density," Cheetos melt in the mouth quickly so that the brain thinks there are no calories in them. However, just 21 pieces contain 150 calories and 10 grams of fat.[15]
  • Making 2,500 pounds of potato chips requires 10,000 pounds of potatoes. 
    [21]
  • Roughly 28,000,000 pounds (13,000,000 kg) of chips are eaten during the Super Bowl.[4]
  • Potato Chip Consumption
    Super Bowl Sunday and chips go hand-in-hand

  • On average, a thin cut potato chip is between .04 and .08 of an inch thick.[21]
  • A type of potato chip called "The Whole Shabang" is also called "jail chips" because they are only sold in prison. The chips, however, are unusually delicious, and former prisoners have set up message boards and facebook pages in an attempt to get their snack fix on the outside.[3]
  • Lay's flavored chips have five fewer chips per bag than the plain chips, which saves the company about $50 million a year.[13]
  • When Frito-Lay introduced a compostable bag for their Sun Chips brand in 2010, consumers noticed the crinkly new bag was significantly louder than previous bags—a lot louder. The bag tested at 95 decibels, which is about as loud as a motorcycle. It was discontinued in 2011.[27]
  • Potato Chip History
    Even though potato chip recipes were published in several cookbooks decades before Crum, a local legend associates him with the snack's creation. Here he is pictured with Aunt "Kate" Wicks.
  • Native American/African American chef George Crum invented the potato chip in Saratoga Springs, New York in 1853 for a disgruntled customer who wanted his fried potatoes crispier.[2]
  • Founded in 1910, Mike-sells Potato Chips is the oldest potato chip company in the United States. But New England-based Tri-Sum Potato Chips also claims to be America's first potato chip manufacturer.[2]
  • A brand of potato chips named "Fail Chips"  contains tiny, crushed up bits of chips that are typically found at the bottom of a chip bag. The creators of the company believe that these chip sediments are the tastiest part of a chip bag.[10]
  • Many breakfast cereals, including Corn Flakes, contain more salt than a small bag of chips.[6]
  • Pennsylvania is known as the "Potato Chip Capital" of the world and leads the United States in potato chip production.[28]
  • The same fake potato chip brand appears in a significant number of television shows. Called "Let's," the fake brand of potato chips has been featured in Orange is the New Black, Arrested Development, My Name is Earl, Sons of Anarchy, Cougar Town, and more. 
    [29]
  • A Cheeto resembling Harambe the gorilla sold on eBay for $99,900 in February 2017.[9]
  • The name Doritos means "little golden things" in Spanish.[17]
  • Dorito Fact
    Each Dorito chip is about 29 percent fat by weight, and almost all of that is corn oil, sunflower oil, or soybean oil

  • Doritos is the top selling chip during Super Bowl weekend.[23]
  • Although Doritos entered the United States market nearly 50 years ago, corn chips were introduced into New Zealand much more recently, in 2010.[23]
  • In 1995, Dorito chips underwent a makeover: the chips were made 20% larger and 15% thinner; more seasoning was added; and the corners were rounded to prevent breaking in the bag.[23]
  • The corn used to make Doritos is grown on every continent in the world except for Antarctica.[23]
  • On average, in the United States, the most popular time to eat Doritos is between 8:00 p.m. and midnight.[23]
  • Interesting Pringles Fact
    It takes about three or four potatoes to make a can of Pringles (Juanmonino / iStock)
  • Pringles are not potato chips.  A high court ruled that because Pringles are made from dough, they are more like a biscuit or cake.[22]
  • Inserting colored potato chips into a bag of plain colored chips causes people to eat fewer chips. Researchers believe that adding a way to break up the experience of eating slows snacking.[24]
  • One small Dorito chip contains over 30 ingredients.[23]
  • Women are typically bigger snackers than men. Among all genders, preferred snack foods include fresh fruit, chocolate, potato chips, cookies, and yogurt.[16]
  • The word tortilla comes from the Spanish "torta," meaning "round cake."[14]
  • Ignacio Anaya, a maitre’d from Piedra Negras, Mexico, invented nachos  in 1943. He was without a chef when a group of hungry guests arrived at his restaurant, so he quickly cut up tortillas and topped them with cheese and jalapenos.  He called the dish "Nachos Especiales". Reportedly, "Nacho" was his nickname.[2]
  • A man in Ohio suffers from a condition called "auto-brewery syndrome." One symptom of this ultra-rare disorder is that his body turns potato chips into alcohol in his stomach.[7]
  • Tortilla chips and salsa are Texas' official state snack.[14]
  • Lay's Potato Chips was the first snack food advertised on television.[11]
  • Potato Chip Fun Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Potato Chip Infographic
References

1Atwood, Liz. "Palate-Pleasing Chips." Daily Press, July 2, 2003. Accessed: November 24, 2017.

2Burkhans, Dirk. Crunch!: A History of the Great American Potato Chip. Madison, WI: Terrace Books.

3Davis, Rebecca, and Jake Heller. "Chips so Good You’ll Have to Go to Jail to Get Them." NBC News, September 14, 2016. Accessed: November 26, 2017.

4Edge, Lisa. "Super Bowl Sunday Means Big Business for Food Industry." ABC 15 News, February 4, 2011. Accessed: November 27, 2017.

5Gentile, Dan. "Everything You Didn't Know about Cheetos." Huffington Post, March 1, 2016. Accessed: November 26, 2017.

6"Health Hazard Hidden in Breakfast Bowls." Consensus Action on Salt & Health. November 12, 2004. Accessed: November 26, 2017.

7Henriques, Sasha. "This Man's Bizarre Medical Condition Turns Potato Chips into ALCOHOL in His Stomach." Women's Day, September 16, 2015. Accessed: November 26, 2017.

8Imaz, Juan. "Potato Chips--The World’s Number One Snack." beBee. August 7, 2017. Accessed: November 26, 2017.

9Juang, Mike. "Harambe-Shaped Cheeto Sold for Almost $100,000." CNBC: Food and Beverage, February 7, 2017. Accessed: November 26, 2017.

10Judkis, Maura. "Are Bags of Pre-Crushed Potato Chips the Future of Snacking, or the End Times?" Washington Post, March 27, 2017. Accessed: November 26, 2017.

11Lahr, John. "My Father, the Potato Chip." New Yorker. Accessed: November 27, 2017.

12"Largest Bag of Crisps (Potato Chips)." Guinness World Records. Accessed: November 24, 2017.  

13Linshi, Jack. "This Company Is Making Millions by Giving You 5 Fewer Chips Per Bag." Time, July 24, 2014. Accessed: November 26, 2017.

14Milner, Hadassah Sabo. "National Tortilla Chip Day." Jaime Gellar. February 24, 2016. Accessed: February 24, 2018.

15Moss, Michael. "The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food." New York Times, February 20, 2013. Accessed: November 26, 2017.

16Nieburg, Oliver. "Women Bigger Snackers than Men, Finds NPD Group." Bakery and Snacks. May 16, 2013.

17Northrup, Laura. "Doritos Means “Little Golden Things,” and They Were Invented at Disneyland." Consumerist.  June 12, 2017. Accessed: November 24, 2017.

18Orem, William. "How Do Potato Chips Stay Fresh in the Bag?" Moment of Science. November 16, 2012. Accessed: November 24, 2017.

19"Potato Chips." Laura Scudder's. Accessed: November 24, 2017.

20"Potato Chips Piling on the Pounds, Study Finds." CBS News, December 13, 2011. Accessed: November 24, 2017.

21"Potato Fun Facts." Northern Plains Potato Growers Association: Consumers. Accessed: November 26, 2017.

22"Pringles are Not Potato Crisps." BBC News: Business, July 4, 2008. Accessed: November 24, 2017.

23Sheehan, Maggie, and Candice Braun Davidson. "14 Things You Should Know before Eating Doritos." Delish, February 2, 2017. Accessed: November 26, 2017.

24Sikka, Veronica. "How Colored Potato Chips Slow Snacking." ABC News: Health, May 23, 2012. Accessed: November 26, 2017.

25Tunick, Michael H., et. al. "Critical Evaluation of Crispy and Crunchy Textures: A Review." International Journal of Food Properties, 16:949–963, 2013. Accessed: November 24, 2017.

26"U.S. Population: Which Flavors of Potato Chips Do You Eat Most Often?" Statista. 2016. Accessed: November 24, 2017.

27Vranica, Suzanne. "Snack Attack: Chip Eaters Make Noise about a Crunchy Bag." Wall Street Journal. August 18, 2010. Accessed: November 26, 2017.

28Wohlsen, Marcus. "The Secret Behind the Success of the Country's Potato Chip Capital." Wired, July 4, 2013. Accessed: November 26, 2017.

29Zakarin, Jordan. "The Same Fake Potato Chip Brand Is in a Mind-Blowing Number of TV Shows." BuzzFeed. July 29, 2013. Accessed: November 26, 2017.

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