Cape Cod Potato Chips

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Coordinates: 41°40′50.99″N 70°17′40.46″W / 41.6808306°N 70.2945722°W / 41.6808306; -70.2945722

Cape Cod Potato Chips
IndustrySnack foods
FoundedJuly 4, 1980
FounderSteve Bernard[1]

Cape Cod Potato Chips is a snack food company most famously known for their brand of potato chips. The company is headquartered in Hyannis, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. Cape Cod Potato Chips is a subsidiary of Snyder's-Lance.

The Company[edit]

image of Cape Cod brand potato chips (40% reduced fat variety), January 2016

The company's logo is a woodcut of Nauset Light with the company name in the Caslon Antique font.


Cape Cod Potato Chips was founded in 1980 by Steve Bernard and his brother, Jude, with the idea of offering healthier foods made with little processing. Steve's wife, Lynn had opened the store, Ardklin Natural Foods, in Harwich in the 1970s. Bernard lamented the lack of healthy snacks. He pursued adding potato chips to the mix after tasting a natural potato chip from a successful company based in Hawaii. In 1980, he sold his auto parts business in for a potato chip business. He bought an 800-square-foot (74 m2) storefront in Hyannis, Massachusetts, in a prime place to reach tourists, as well as an industrial potato slicer for $3,000. He had almost no knowledge of the snack food business other than what he learned in a week-long course on potato chip making at Martin's Potato Chips in Thomasville, Pennsylvania.[2]

Nauset Light (2015), the inspiration for the company's logo

Unlike typical commercial brands made using a continuous frying process, in which potato slices travel through a tub of oil on a conveyor belt, Cape Cod chips are cooked in batches in kettles, frying them in a shallow vat in oil while stirring with a rake, producing a crunchier chip. Snack Food Association president James A. McCarthy noted that Bernard "didn't invent the kettle chip, but he was involved in bringing it back to prominence."[1] Before the 1920s, this was the way potato chips had been made.

The company struggled for months after it opened on July 4, 1980. The following winter a car crashed through the front window of the store, just missing Steve's daughter and wife. An insurance payment and publicity from the accident helped tide the company over until the following summer, by which time sales were substantial, and the company's chips were being sold through a number of supermarket chains.[1]

The company was acquired by Anheuser-Busch in 1985, and operated as a division of its Eagle Snacks unit. Sales of the chips were up to 80,000 bags a day by the end of the following year, reaching the entire East Coast, with sales of $16 million annually.[2] Bernard bought the company and its factory back from Anheuser-Busch in 1996.[3] Snack food company Lance Inc. bought the company from Bernard in 1999, by which time annual sales had reached $30 million, primarily to old, rich, white women.[4] In 2010, Lance Inc. merged with Snyder's of Hanover.[5] The Campbell Soup Co. would later go on to acquire Snyder's of Hanover in December of 2017.[6]


Current varieties[edit]

  • Sea Salt & Vinegar
  • Original
  • 40% Reduced Fat
  • Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper
  • Sweet Mesquite Barbecue
  • Sweet & Spicy Jalapeño
  • 40% Less Fat Aged White Cheddar & Sour Cream
  • 40% Less Fat Sea Salt & Vinegar
  • 40% Less Fat Sweet Mesquite Barbeque
  • 40% Less Fat Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper
  • Limited Batch Back Bay Crab
  • Limited Batch Asiago and Herb
  • Limited Batch Chipotle Barbecue
  • Limited Batch New England Bisque
  • Waffle Cut Sea Salt
  • Waffle Cut Barbecue Ranch
  • Waffle Cut Buffalo Cheddar
  • Waffle Cut Farm Stand Ranch
  • Limited batch Firecracker BBQ
  • Limited batch Russet


  • Kettle Corn
  • Sea Salt
  • White Cheddar


  • Beachside Barbecue
  • Feta and Rosemary
  • Firecracker Barbecue
  • Honey Dijon
  • Sour Cream & Green Onion
  • Buttermilk Ranch
  • Jalapeño & Aged Cheddar
  • Russet (Golden, Dark, and Robust)[7]
  • Parmesan & Roasted Garlic
  • Harvest Gold
  • Five Cheese
  • No Salt
  • Waves (Original, Reduced Fat, and Golden Russet)
  • Sweet Potato (Lightly Salted and Cinnamon & Sugar)
  • Sierra Gold
  • "Whole Earth" line
  • Sour Cream & Chive

Other past snacks[edit]

  • Mild and Medium Black Bean and Corn Salsa
  • Mild and Hot Salsa
  • Dill and Herb Mix
  • French Onion Dip
  • Tortilla Chips (White Corn, Blue Sesame, Garlic Herb, Veggie)
  • Tortilla Strips (Yellow Corn)
  • Low-Carb Tortilla Strips
  • Popcorn (Sweet & Salty, Sweet Cream Butter)
  • Lighthouse Pretzels

In popular culture[edit]

Phoebe Buffay-Hannigan, a fictional character on the popular US television sitcom Friends (1994–2004), played by Lisa Kudrow, is seen eating a bag of Cape Cod Chip's white cheddar popcorn in 1999 on Episode 21, Season Six (The One Where Ross Meets Elizabeth's Dad).

Japanese jazz pianist Hiromi Uehara recorded a composition titled "Cape Cod Chips" on her 2009 solo piano album Place to Be.

In the spring of 2012, Cape Cod Potato Chips launched a television commercial starring a band of computer-generated seagulls performing A Flock of Seagulls' 1982 hit "I Ran (So Far Away)". This was the first commercial for television that Cape Cod Potato Chips made.

On the Lil Wayne mixtape Sorry 4 the wait 2 in the song "No Haters" Cape Cod Chips are referenced in the lyrics "Pockets lookin' like the Blob, chips like Cape Cod"[8]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c Weber, Bruce (March 13, 2009). "Steve Bernard, Who Founded Cape Cod Chips, Dies at 61". The New York Times. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ a b "CAPE COD POTATO CHIPS: A 'LUXURY' JUNK FOOD". The New York Times. December 26, 1986. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
  3. ^ "COMPANY NEWS;DETAILS OF CAMPBELL TAGGART SPINOFF ARE RELEASED". The New York Times. Dow Jones. February 29, 1996. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
  4. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; LANCE AGREES TO ACQUIRE CAPE COD POTATO CHIP". The New York Times. April 17, 1999. Retrieved March 14, 2009.
  5. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ According to an email[when?] from Farrell Souza, Customer Service for Cape Cod Potato Chips, "We blended the Dark & Golden Russet and now only have the Robust Russets. The russet potatoes we cook have been stored at a cool temperature so the starch will turn to sugar and the sugar will brown when we cook them. The russets are not cooked longer than the white potato chips - they actually cook a little faster. We had trouble getting the starch to turn to sugar, mostly caused by weather conditions (we were getting Golden Russets that are white or we would get them too dark - the Dark Russets were coming in too light -not many people complain about them being too dark). So marketing and production got together with the farmers and came up with the robust russets - this should let us have a bit more control over the russet potatoes."
  8. ^
  9. ^ Severson, Kim (2007-07-04). "The Best Chip? The First One Out of the Bag". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  10. ^ "Savoring 35 years of Local Flavor- Cape Cod Potato Chips". Cape Cod LIFE. 2015-07-01. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  11. ^ "Savoring 35 years of Local Flavor- Cape Cod Potato Chips". Cape Cod LIFE. 2015-07-01. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  12. ^ GOLD, ROBERT. "New flock in town for CC Potato Chips". Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  13. ^ Gorman, John. "POTATO CHIP FIRM THRIVING AFTER SURVIVING A BIG DIP". Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  14. ^ SK (2019-03-31). "Cape Cod White Cheddar Popcorn Held by Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay) in Friends Season 6 Episode 21 "The One Where Ross Meets Elizabeth's Dad" (2000) TV Show". Product Placement Blog. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  15. ^ SHEMKUS, SARAH. "Cape Cod Potato Chips founder dies". Retrieved 2019-04-07.

External links[edit]