Utz Quality Foods
Bachman, Bob's Texas Style, Boulder Canyon, Dirty,
Golden Flake, Husman's, Kitchen Cooked, Nathan's,
Poore Brothers, Snikiddy, Snyder of Berlin, Tato Skins, TGI Fridays, Tims Cascade Snacks, Tortiyahs!, Utz, Zapp's
Address: 900 High Street, Hanover, Pennsylvania 17331, USA
Phone: 717 637 6644
Website: www.utzsnacks.com, www.husman's.com,
www.kitchencooked.net, www.snyderofberlin.com, www.timschips.com
Email: Contact Form
William and Salie Utz began making potato chips out of their home in Hanover Pennsylvania, in 1921. The company name was Hanover Home Brand Potato Chips. The chips were made by hand and approximately 50 pounds were made an hour. Salie cooked the chips and Bill delivered them to local grocery stores and farmers’ markets in the local areas.
Early success led to the building of a small plant at the rear of their property and in 1938, production went up to 300 pounds an hour after the purchase of an automatic fryer.
Son in Law, Francis Rice, joined the company in the same year and would take over the presidency of the company in 1968, after the deaths of both Salie and Bill.
In 1949 a new production facility was built on 10 acres in Hanover.
The company celebrated it’s 50th anniversary with the purchase of two more Hanover-based production facilities. F.X. Rice retired in 1978, and his son Michael took over, with Arlene Utz Rice remaining as the company’s board chairperson. Utz’s largest production facility was completed in 1983.
During the 1980s, sales of Utz pretzels grew by 20% annually and, by 1991, sales made up 10% 0f the company’s revenue. By the middle of the 1990s, sales of Utz snacks topped $100 million and it employed 1,000 staff.
By the turn of the century, those figures reached 1,300 people and enjoyed $150 million in revenues. In 2004, sales reached $235 million annually. In 2011 Utz Quality Foods acquired Zappe Endeavors and its associated concerns, and now manufacture and market Zapp's, Dirty's and California Chips brand potato chips. This acquisition included Zapp's plants in Louisiana, California and Pennsylvania – this made Utz a national snack food manufacturer. Expansion continues, and in 2012 Utz Quality Foods acquired The Bachman Company’s range of goods and chips manufacturing facilities.
Utz Ripple Cut Regular Potato Chips
These are the Regular flavor Chips, but with thin Ridges. They have a very similar nutrition label and the same ingredients list. Therefore, they tasted the same - of oily potato.
Utz Honey BBQ Potato Chips
I will happily contradict myself here. In any flavour pairing, I believe the combo should either bounce from one flavour to the other or balance between the two. As there is no ampersand between the two flavours mentioned on this bag, I would suggest that the taste was pretty accurate. They honey provided a background, or underlying flavouring, to the barbecue. The sweetness, added to a salty potato barbecue flavouring, brought the essence out emphatically.
Utz Wavy Regular Potato Chips
Utz have several variations of this flavour free chip. This time, with wide ridges. I am not in denial, I am aware that my views on plain chips are not shared by the majority of the chips buying public. Utz must have some very good sales of their plain chips for them to turn out different shapes of the same flavour. These had more character as a sandwich partner, but they still tasted of oily potato.
Utz Jalapeno Kettle Classics Potato Chips
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a jalapeno aroma. This augured well. To a backdrop of warm and fluffy potato, it appeared that a jalapeno had snuck up on it from around a corner and pushed the poor spud over. Then jumped on it repeatedly to make sure he could taste the smoky hot and spicy flavour. The odd thing was if you taste a jalapeno you will get a hit of fire before you can tell what it tastes like. These released the flavours from its warm coat of mashed potato and left me with the memory of the hot spiciness.
Utz Ripple Cut Sour Cream & Onion Chips
A Nose Plunge Test revealed an onion bouquet. Not much, but it was apparent. The sour cream was also noticeable, in what were well-balanced chips. Both flavours in the partnership were identifiable, but the taste was mild. Almost as if they were not completely committed to the job.
Utz 'The Crab Chip' Potato Chips
Old Bay seasoning is the flavouring here. The clues are: “Potato Chips with Chesapeake Bay Crab Seasoning.” It says they are “The Crab Chip” in a sort of, “Can I have a packet of those, you know, the spicy, erm, I don't know, they are nice . . .” “Oh, you mean, The Crab Chip.” It doesn't say anywhere that the chips will taste of crab. And they don't, but the inference could mislead some.
Utz Original Potato Chips
A Nose Plunge Test revealed an empty bag. I had to take a look inside. Phew, there were chips. What followed was a sandwich partner. To eat these chips on their own would be to deny yourself a trip into the wonderful world of potato chips and crisps. There are many flavours out there, Utz even make a few of them. These tasted of oily potato.
Utz Red Hot Potato Chips
These Chips are called “Red Hot Flavored.” I do not know whether a Red Hot is a vegetable or a fruit, but I would like to buy some. Having said that, the grammar police are still working with Utz on their many different spellings of barbecue, so I will leave it there. Talking of barbecue, there was a hint of that with the Nose Plunge Test. They were also hot, but with a dry heat rather than a spicy flavourful heat. Eating these chips conjured up images of a hot sauce truck crash in Death Valley. No . . . Please don't make me lick the sand . . . Okay, spaghetti western images aside, these chips were fiery. Not in a tasty barbecue fashion, but in this way: Here is the potato, here are the hot spices, go . . .
Utz Salt 'n Vinegar Potato Chips
In a constant effort to minimise the inclusion of personal opinion to chips and crisps reviews I always like to add guidelines. One of my little rules was broken quite badly by these chips. If a bag says there is a flavour combo inside, I believe they should work together in harmony. These were heavily salted potato chips, but all I could taste here was vinegar. Lots of vinegar. So, they seemed to get it wrong by getting the mix right.
Utz Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips
A Nose Plunge Test revealed the very slightest onion smell. This was sustained in what was, for me, a fairly average chip for this variety. There was a creamy buttery backdrop, which would presumably be the sour cream aspect of it all. The onion was very mild.
Utz Salt & Pepper Potato Chips
On the surface of it, this variety seems a fairly straight forward, no-nonsense, walk in the park standard offering for potato chips companies. Yet, it appears to be one a little too complex to get right. So, many over-emphasise the pepper or don't have enough of either seasoning. These struck the balance just right, by bouncing you from salt to pepper. The backdrop was an oily potato that seemed a little sweet.
Utz Southern Sweet Heat BBQ Chips
These Chips began in a slightly confusing fashion. There was a tangily sweet, but not sugary, hot sauce flavour, aided by a helping of barbecue kick. It oozed southern barbecue imagery. The confusion is that as well as being very tasty, they delivered exactly what was promised on the packaging. This is rare in the potato chips and crisps world.
Grandma Utz's Handcooked Regular Chips
These chips seemed more flavourful than the other plain varieties in the Utz range. It appeared they were cooked in lard, just like the good old days. Question: Why is the obesity problem higher now than ever before when so much of the bad food we all eat have new and improved healthier recipes? These do however have a bit too much saturated fat, but they certainly tasted natural. A taste of potato chips past.
Grandma Utz's Handcooked Bar-B-Q Chips
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a smoky barbecue aroma. The oily and salty potato combined with this sort of imagery to create the flavour. The barbecue seasoning was certainly not as sweet as some of the others in Utz's range (around a third of their chips are barbecue related). The key to the flavour was the lard they were cooked in. It is an acquired taste and a traditional additive to the flavouring combination that once tried, immediately promotes visions of past times. These are what potato chips used to taste like.
Utz Dark Russets Kettle Classics Chips
I cannot say whether the flesh of these chips was darker because the potatoes were stored for a long period, or whether they were not blacnhed enough, but it did not affect the taste. These chips tasted very similar, if not the same, as the Utz Regular Chips. As they looked a little different they would make a good sandwich buddy. For me, the taste was a bit bland.
Utz Original Kettle Classics Potato Chips
While many flavour-free chips taste much of a muchness, these seemed to have a sweeter flavour than many barely salted versions. It may have been the peanut oil they were cooked in, but as far as plain chips go, these were pretty good.
Utz Smokin' Sweet Kettle Classics Chips
These Chips seemed extra greasy, but that merely helped the flavor ooze out. The peanut oil that they were fried in did not appear to involve itself too heavily in the action. They tasted like spicy Barbecue seasoning dipped in honey. A very sticky sweet honey at that. Surprisingly, the plain, regular, but familiar Barbecue aspect also had a mild and rewarding heat. These were an outstanding example of the flavor.
Utz Salt & Malt Vinegar Kettle Classics
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a mild vinegar aroma. Having reviewed many of this variety, I would say, generally speaking, manufacturers tend to include an overwhelming amount of vinegar in this partnership. As Utz are brave enough to include that these are “Old English Style” on the bag, I hoped they would get the balance right. This was a case of close, but no cigar. The taste balanced very well, but the creamy potato was possibly a little too prominent and seemed to water the flavour down.
Utz Sweet Potato Kettle Classics Chips
Sweet Potato Chips almost always have a higher sodium content and a higher sugar content than Regular Potato Chips. To our taste-buds this was an unfamiliar flavor. They did not taste like Potato Chips as such, they tasted of dessert - If it was made of Potato Chips! As for star rating them... Well, they tasted of Sweet Potato, which is of course an acquired taste. The fact that they were not our acquired taste is not relevant and is not reflected in the marks.
Utz Maui BBQ Kettle Classics Potato Chips
I was excited about this flavour. It is the only one of this variety I have stumbled across thus far. In theory, the sweet Maui onion, which is growing in popularity all the time as a chips flavour, plus a smoky barbecue addition, should hit it off well as a partnership. The good news - They did. There was an underlying sweetness that was asked to provide the spicy kick for the tangy barbecue. Unfortunately, the onion appeared to have refused. This denied me that part of the combo, but it should not detract from what was a very satisfying chip that more manufacturers should have a crack at.
Utz Original Kettle Classics Potato Chips
As you will find with the reviews of Regular, Plain, Unsalted etc., Chips, we do not find it easy to judge the difference between flavor-free Chips. We crave flavor, and like the Original version of these Chips, we could not really tell a difference between these and any another manufacturer's Plain Chips. They were maybe a little more tasty because of the peanut oil infusion, but aside from that, we are of the common belief that Chips without flavor need a sandwich to give them purpose.