I’m going to dig into this box of potato chips.
It just doesn’t sound right, does it?
A box is a package rarely thought of when pondering potato chips. Cans? sure. Tins? On special occasions, or when guests and relatives visit. But a box? That’s the domain of second-class snacks like crackers and instant oatmeal.
But this wasn’t always the case. Boxes existed in the past, and if you look hard enough you’ll find them today.
Potato Chip World has collected five categories of boxed chips that highlight the past and present of chips.
1) The Exception: a Box as Shipping Vessel
If you want to get all technical, all chips are probably shipped in a box at some point. When you buy a case of chips, they’re going to arrive in a box.
This doesn’t count. The end consumer never sees the box, and there’s nothing flashy about the delivery mechanism. The box is just a way to efficiently wrangle the bags. If companies could do it better with shrink wrap or a rope, they would.
2) Extinct Brands, Part 1: Chips as Chips
Although I have no hard evidence supporting this, I think they stopped for cost reasons. Why ship a bag in a box? You’d have to put the chips in a bag, otherwise they’d soak through the cardboard with their delicious oils. So if you put enough air in the bag to protect the chip, you’d save money on the cardboard. Spend your money on decorating the bag – on container instead of two!
3) Extinct Brands, Part 2: Pseudo-Chips and Other Salty Snacks
Prior to the late 1908s it wasn’t uncommon to see these. Think Doo Dads and Mister Salty. Again, either for competitive or pricing reasons, the remaining presence of a box in a chip aisle has been Crunch ‘n’ Munch.
(Side note: do a Google Image search on Chipos. The first things that return certainly are not chips. Not appetizing. Don’t worry, it’s safe for work).
4) Modern Boxes: the Twin Pack
Yes, you can still find boxes of chips, many of which are on our Chipography. The common vessel is the “twin pack”, which is a box containing two individually-wrapped plain white chip bags. Seek out Old Dutch, Laura Scudders, Mikesell’s, Terrell’s Grandma Utz, Good’s, Grippos, or Spudmaster’s Colossal Chips.
This is really going to be the only case (minor pun intended) of the chip box you’ll find on shelves. The twin pack is the reverse of the case, but for efficiency reasons it makes sense to decorate the box. The consumer gets longer freshness due to individually-wrapped bags without having to buy a full case.
5) The Lone Survivor: a Bespoke Chip Brand
Boxerchips are the only modern box I can find which doesn’t follow the twin pack model. Boxerchips arrive in a small box, which unfolds to a bowl. The boutique brand is available in Western Europe, so folks in the states will have to wait.
Did we miss any brands? Contact us or email email@example.com.