Pringles Purchased, Origins Pondered…

This week, it was announced that Diamond Foods Inc. has bought the Pringles brand from Procter & Gamble (P&G) for $1.5 billion.

The transaction rids P&G of the last of its food brands, since it has shifted mostly to beauty and hygiene products, and builds on Diamond’s growing food portfolio. Diamond, founded in 1912 by a cooperative of California walnut growers, owns Diamond of California, Emerald nuts, Pop Secret microwave popcorn and Kettle Brand gourmet potato chips.

Pringles launched in the late 60s as a perfect chip (or crisp). Distributed in a tubular paper-board can with a foil-lined interior and a resealable plastic lid, the chips/crisps stacked perfectly.

Alexis Madrigal, a senior editor at The Atlantic, posted an interesting story which offered a different take on the origin of the Pringle name:

Company officials may not be sure, but I’m fairly confident that the company copped the name from noted potato-related device inventor, Mark Pringle of Amsterdam, New York. Pringle co-patented a “method and apparatus for processing potatoes” in 1942 that bears a striking resemblance to later methods of potato chip manufacture. He was, actually, trying to solve the same problem that Pringles later did. Namely, actually frying regular potatoes leads to irregularly-shaped chips of varying crunchiness that don’t last on the shelf for very long.

Madrigal also embedded this video of a Pringles ad from 1973.


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