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|Product type||Snack foods|
|Owner||Snyder's-Lance (since 2016)|
|Introduced||1978 (as N.S. Khalsa Company)|
|Markets||USA, Canada, Europe, Middle East, Australia|
|Previous owners||Lion Capital (2006-2010)
Diamond Foods (2010-2016)
Kettle Foods, Inc. is an international manufacturer of potato chips, tortilla chips, and nut butters based in Salem, Oregon, United States, with a European and Middle East headquarters in Norwich, United Kingdom. As of 2006 they were the largest natural potato chip brand in the U.S. The company, founded in 1978 by Cameron Healy has been owned by Diamond Foods since 2010 and was previously sold to Lion Capital in 2006.
The company was founded by Cameron Healy in 1978 as the N.S. Khalsa Company; it produced its first potato chips in 1982.
In 1988, following a motorcycle trip taken by the company's founder and his son, Kettle Foods established a UK branch in a converted shoe factory in Norwich; the branch moved five years later to its current UK home, a newly built factory on the outskirts of Norwich in Norfolk, England.
In September 2007, the company opened its second US production facility in Beloit, Wisconsin, lured there by $500,000 in state economic development money. Kettle built the first manufacturing plant to be awarded gold certification in the LEED program from the United States Green Building Council.
In October 2007, campaigns were launched on Facebook calling for a boycott of Kettle Foods products following allegations that the company was attempting to dissuade workers at its Norwich factory from joining trade union Unite. The company denied the claim but acknowledged that it had taken advice from Omega Training, a UK subsidiary of the U.S. company The Burke Group, specialists in union avoidance.
In August 2008, California Attorney General Jerry Brown announced a settlement with Kettle Foods, the makers of Cape Cod Potato Chips, and Frito-Lay for violating the state's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. The state had alleged in 2005 that the potato chips from the companies failed to document that they contained high levels of acrylamide, a carcinogen. Kettle Foods paid $350,000 in civil penalties and costs and agreed to cut their potato chips' levels of acrylamide to 275 parts per billion by 2011, an 87% reduction.
Lion Capital put Kettle Foods up for sale in December 2009, with an asking price of around US$700 million and in February 2010 sold it for $615 million to California-based Diamond Foods, which owns brands such as Pop Secret popcorn. The sale was finalized the following month.
Outside of the US and UK
The Kettle Foods UK office also supports a network of independent distributors through which Kettle Foods' products are made available to countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, and Sweden.
Kettle Foods products, marketed as all-natural, is best-known for its potato chips (batch-cooked and extra crunchy). Their potato chips are fried using expeller-pressed high-monounsaturated safflower and/or sunflower and/or canola oil. The company has occasionally held contests to introduce new flavors. The 2006 contest winners were "Tuscan Three Cheese" and "Buffalo Bleu", a spicy, savory chip; past contest winners include "Cheddar Beer", "Jalapeno Jack" and "Spicy Thai".
As of 2016, the ingredients for the company's most basic chip ("Sea Salt") were: potatoes, safflower and/or sunflower and/or canola oil, sea salt. Many other flavors use ingredients like natural flavors, spices, citric acid, and yeast extract.
Potato chip flavors
The following is a list of potato chip flavors sold by the company (as of 2012):
In 2012, Kettle Chips celebrated their 30th anniversary by offering four retired flavors:
- Kish, Matthew. Kettle Foods sold to British group Portland Business Journal, August 9, 2006.
- "KettleFoods.com :: Our History". Retrieved December 12, 2009.
- Our story so far, from the company's UK website
- Kettle Foods from the Energy Trust website
- Kettle foods from the state of Oregon website
- "Kettle Foods for sale". Portland Business Journal. December 10, 2009. Retrieved December 12, 2009.
- "Kettle Foods Opens Green Plant In Beloit". WISC-TV. September 20, 2007. Retrieved December 12, 2009.
- Consumers start online campaign to boycott Kettle Chips, an October 9, 2007 article from The Guardian
- Internet campaign to boycott foods, an October 11, 2007 article from Norwich Evening News
- The Burke Group
- "Atty. Gen. Brown Settles Potato Chip Lawsuit With Heinz, Frito-Lay & Kettle Foods". Press Release. State of California. August 1, 2008. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
Under today's settlements, Frito-Lay, Inc., which sells most of the potato chips sold in California, Kettle Foods, Inc., maker of "Kettle Chips," and Lance, Inc., maker of Cape Cod Chips will reduce acrylamide over a period of three years to 275 parts per billion. For Frito Lay, this is about a 20% reduction, while for Kettle Chips, which contain far more acrylamide, this is an 87% reduction in acrylamide.
- Lazarus, David (August 6, 2008). "A stone wall made of potato chips". Consumer Confidential. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
- Bloomberg News (February 26, 2010). "Kettle Foods of Salem sold for $615M". OregonLive.com. Retrieved February 27, 2010.
- "Diamond wraps up acquisition of Kettle Foods". The Oregonian. The Oregonian. March 31, 2010. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
- Just for retailers from the company's European website
- And the winner is... from the company's website Archived February 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Our Products". Kettle Foods. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
- Kettle Chips' 30th anniversary
- "Our Hand Cooked Chips". Kettle Foods Ltd. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
- "Our Hand Cooked Chips". Kettle Foods Ltd. Retrieved July 1, 2013.