Tag Archives: Snyder of Berlin vs. Snyder’s of Hanover

Chip Wars: Snyder of Berlin


Wow.  I’ve had some duds before, but this Chip Wars thing that I tried to spark really was a colossal dud.

No one got out of line with their replies, they divulged as little information as possible.  No dirt.  No funny.  No aggravation even.  I have to say I’m disappointed in myself as much as the responses.  Apparently I didn’t push the right buttons.  It certainly took long enouhg for them to write back, but I finally got a response from Snyder of Berlin:

from Yanke, Terry tyanke@birdseyefoods.com
to world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
cc “Yanke, Terry” tyanke@birdseyefoods.com
date Mon, Jul 26, 2010
subject Snyder vs Snyder
mailed-by birdseyefoods.com

Dear Eric,

Thank you for your many questions about the Snyder of Berlin history and products .  We are always pleased to hear from customers such as your self.

First – Regarding the statement “is not associated with”.   This statement is a legal phrase that must be used from the sale of the family to Curtice Burn.

Second – We do not give tours of the manufacturing plant.

Thank you for being a loyal Snyder of Berlin customer.

Terry Yanke
Order Desk / Customer Service Representative
Snyder of Berlin / Husman Snack Foods
Ph # 814-267-4641 ext. 238
800-374-7949 ext. 238
Fax # 888-367-6142
tyanke@birdseyefoods.com

P Think Green. Please don’t print this message unless it’s really necessary. Thank you.

Well.  I wonder what they think when they read my emails?  Do they think I’m eccentric, a little kid, or “special”?  They may even think I’m a “special” eccentric little kid.  I think it’s funny that they acknowledge the fact that I asked several questions, but only answered two of them.

I sent them the same exact message that I sent to Snyder’s of Hanover.  Their answer was boring and ignored most of my questions too.  These companies are much more similar than they’d like to admit.

Perhaps too much snacking curbs your sense of humor?

No tours?  Wow.  Everyone else does tours.  Free ones at that.  Way to go on that one, PR people.

Should I reply and ask them to answer more of my questions… or should I just let this one drop like the proverbial hot potato that it is?

Also… I felt the urge to print 317 copies of this email.

Chip Wars: Utz


Well, in the ongoing Chip Wars saga that isn’t ruffling as many feathers as I’d like (yet), we have a letter to & response from Utz:

From: ERiC AiXeLsyD world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
Sent: Saturday, July 03, 2010
To: info; Nutrition; tours
Subject: Crab flavored chips? Ah! (&) A tour sounds nice…

Hello Friends!

I’m writing to you today to tell you how much I enjoy Utz snacks… or rather, how much I hope to continue enjoying them!  I generally seem to buy Utz chips when we’re at Sheetz.  Sheetz is a damn fine establishment, don’t you think?  Although, I must confess, I have a love for Snyder of Berlin Honey Bar-B-Q chips and Herr’s Ketchup flavored chips that I sometimes have to fulfill at Sheetz.  I have yet to try your Grandma’s Handcooked Chips, but look forward to purchasing a bag in the near future.  Well, hopefully.  I’m sure this is cryptic to you by now, so I’ll try to do my best to explain.

There was an article the other day on Yahoo! mentioning the “best” chips, and they didn’t happen to mention any of my favorite brands.  The article was a sham, I tell you.  So, I started researching my own favorite chip brands… to compile my own (much more accurate) list.  In looking at your site, I discovered that you have “crab” flavored chips, and my heart nearly stopped.  You see, my friends, I have a severe allergy to shellfish.  I can become violently ill and go into anaphylactic shock just by eating some food that simply came into contact witht he same cooking surface or prep area as things like shrimp, crab, oysters, lobster, crayfish, clams, mussels, or calamari.

Are all of your flavors of chips processed on the same line?  Do you use just the crab juice to flavor your chips, or is it ground up pieces of crab meat?  Who on earth would want to eat crab flavored chips?  I ask because as I’m sure you’re aware, there are new regulations regarding disclosing the top allergens on food packaging, and I don’t recall any warning on your product packaging indicating that “THIS PRODUCT WAS MANUFACTURED IN A FACILITY THAT ALSO PROCESSES WHEAT, SOY, PEANUT, AND SHELLFISH INGREDIENTS” or anything of that sort.

I would like to continue enjoying your fine snacks, but you must understand that I cannot take the risk if there are crabs lurking around!  Do you have them in tanks there at the factory?  Oh, I shudder at the imagery!  You must imagine that for me, seeing a lobster tank at the grocery store is like anyone else walking into a mine field!

My wife and I enjoy factory tours…  I see form your website that you started about the same time as Snyder’s of Hanover, and you’re located in the same town.  Do you guys have a friendly rivalry, or is it bitter like Coca~Cola & Pepsi?  Do you order pizzas to each others’ office buildings leaving the other stuck with the tab?  For some reason, they seem to passively-aggressively hate on Snyder of Berlin on their product packaging.  I bet you’re glad the don’t say “SNYDER’S OF HANOVER IS IN NO WAY ASSOCIATED WITH SNYDER OF BERLIN OR UTZ, ALSO OF HANOVER.”  I wonder what the deal with that is?  It’s crazy.  At any rate, if we’re ever in the area, I’d very much like to tour both facilities!  One of our goals is to get to the Yuengling Brewery tour in Pottsville.  Perhaps we can stop in Hanover on our way over from Pittsburgh and make a weekend out of it!  It’s only about 2 hours form your location, right?  Maybe we can take in some Pennsylvania Dutch culture out that way too.

Oh well, I’d like to find out more about your fine chips, crab flavoring, and product labeling.  I look forward to hearing from you, hopefully this email finds you well after a great holiday weekend!

Inquisitively,
-Eric Aixelsyd

P.S. – Is it “Uhtz” or “Ootz”?  I’ve been saying the former, but wondering if it’s the latter.
P.P.S – Who is the girl on the bag?

Similar to my other messages, only slightly different.  Their response:

from Pam Berwager pjberwager@utzsnacks.com
to world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
date Tue, Jul 13, 2010
subject FW: Crab flavored chips? Ah! (&) A tour sounds nice…
mailed-by utzsnacks.com

Dear Mr. Aixelsyd:

Thank you for your email regarding our Crab Chips.  First, let me say that we do not have any shellfish in our plant, nor is there shellfish in our Crab Chips.  It is strictly seasoning.  Did you ever have Bay Seasoning?  Marylanders us this all the time.  They are quite popular, and we receive many compliments on them.  The ingredients are listed on the bag and all the nutrition information is listed on our website at www.utzsnacks.com.  Just click on the nutrition bag at the top.  Our bags are listed with allergy information and most state they are gluten free.  The ingredients are potatoes, cottonseed oil, salt, spices, dextrose, paprika, maltodextrin, sugar, onion powder, honey powder (maltodextrin, honey), disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate, citric acid.  The maltodextrin is derived from corn.  Contains no hydrogenated fats.  This is a gluten free food.

We also invite you to visit our free, self-guided tour of our potato chip making facility.

Sincerely,
Pam

Pamela J. Berwager
Utz Quality Foods, Inc.
Customer Care Representative
800-367-7629, ext. 263

“Check out our Facebook page under ‘Little Utz Girl’ and our blog at utzsnackcentral.com to find out what’s happening at Utz.”

No correction of my pronunciation?  No acknowledgment of Snyder vs. Snyder’s?  No telling me about the creepy girl on the bag?  At least I got assurance of what I already knew… that there are no crab guts on the chips.  The crab on the packaging still gives me the heebie-jeebies.  No comments on Sheetz?  I hope she’s not a Wawa loyalist.

I also like how she explains that maltodextrin is from corn and doesn’t explain disodium inosinate or disodium guanylate.  I don’t know if it’s just fancy names for salt, or something I’d rather not know about anyway.

I believe that this needs further pressing.

Chip Wars: Snyder’s of Hanover


Well another response rolled in, and sadly they seem unamused.  This one’s from Snyder’s of Hanover, and I asked them about their (admittedly exaggerated) rift with Snyder of Berlin.  There’s no name attached, so the company itself wrote back to me.  Spooky!

My ramblings submitted via webform:

Hello Snyder Clan!

I’m mainly writing to tell you that I enjoy many of your fine products.  From the ridiculously delicious Snyder of Berlin Honey Bar-B-Q Potato Chips and incredibly savory Kettle-Cooked Sea Salt & Cracked Peppercorn Potato Chips to the tenaciously tangy Snyder’s of Hanover Honey Mustard & Onion Pretzel Pieces and decadent Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwich Dips.  There are just too many good products to name!

I would like to know why each of your products has a statement on the outside of the packaging that vehemently denies association with the other company.  While reading the company history on each website, it’s clear that they started out of the same company… but it does seem to be a grey area.  What happened?  Why the split?  Why the clear almost stern warning that Snyder’s of Hanover “is not associated with” Snyder of Berlin and vice-versa?

The Snyder of Berlin story seems to start in Hanover during the Civil War, and the Snyder’s of Hanover story seems to start in the 1920’s… but it appears that Snyder’s of Hanover is the older business, and that Snyder of Berlin was the offshoot?  Then the stories jump to the 1940’s, and it seems form the Snyder’s of Hanover site that the Berlin company was sold in the 1950’s… but the Snyder of Berlin page seems to not mention the sale.  Color me confused!

So clearly, there is an association… and someone form each side needs to sit down to discuss & write a common history.  Perhaps some family counseling is order?  I’m sure that if you was around, your friends could recommend you to a great therapist or clergyman who would be able to help resolve the issues of animosity between the companies where they feel the need to lash out passive-aggressive notes on product packaging trying to invalidate the others’ existence.

In the immortal words of the beaten but not broken Rodney King; “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it, making it horrible for the older people and the kids?…It’s just not right. It’s not right. It’s not, it’s not going to change anything. We’ll, we’ll get our justice….Please, we can get along here. We all can get along. I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to work it out.”

While we’re on the subject, do you feel any animosity towards Utz, Herr’s, Wise, or Shearer’s?  Perhaps the Snyder of Berlin and Snyder’s of Hanover ought to align themselves together in the battle against all other regional snack chains?

My wife and I really enjoy factory tours… We mostly go to breweries, but I’m sure we would enjoy a tour if we’re ever in your area!  I hope to hear form you, and hope that this familial rift is resolved (or on its way to being resolved) in the meantime.  I really look forward to hearing your thoughts on the subject.  Good luck to your in your healing journey!

Shalom,

-Eric Aixelsyd

(Actually, I submitted the same exact message to both companies.) And, then their answer:

from Consumer Affairs consumeraffairs@snyders-han.com
to world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
date Thu, Jul 8, 2010
subject RE: Contact Us form has been submitted
mailed-by snyders-han.com

Eric,

It’s really basically to try and make consumers out in the market place
aware that there are 2 separate Snyder companies.

Years ago, yes we were under the same company, but there is no family
relations and Snyder’s of Berlin decided to break away and try their own
family business.

Sincerely,
Snyder’s of Hanover, Inc.

[Yawn.]

So, clearly, Snyder of Berlin is the no-good upstart… according to Snyder’s of Hanover.  Apparently they did more than “try”.  I’d say they succeeded.

I can’t believe all my crazy comments and questions went unacknowledged  I brought out the Civil War and Rodney King.  Who references Rodney King anymore?

Chip Wars: Martin’s Potato Chips


Well, that article on “the best” chips really got me thinking about potato chips… so I wrote to a bunch of PA chip manufacturers, and may still reach out to some more.  Oddly, Martin’s Potato Chips is the last company to which I had written, and the first to reply.  I’m seriously going to need to give their chips a try.  Sadly, they dodged my Snyder of Berlin vs. Snyder’s of Hanover question… which in essence is the point upon which I keep hammering with these emails.  I may have to write back and press the issue.

Oh well, here’s my letter…

from ERiC AiXeLsyD world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
to Butch & David Potter info2@martinschips.com
date Tue, Jul 6, 2010
subject Where can I find Martin’s Chips in & around Pittsburgh, PA?

Hello Butch & David,

I was recently reading an Article thanks to Yahoo! Shine declaring that they had discovered the “best” potato chips.  Naturally, being from Pennsylvania… I called shenanigans on the whole thing, as they didn’t mention either Snyder of Berlin or Snyder’s of Hanover, Herr’s, Utz, or even (ugh) Wise.

I expressed my opinion in the comments section, and even blogged about it.  While in the comments section, I was intrigued by someone named Melanie mentioning your fine company.  The comment was a simple one:

Martins Potato Chips Kettle-Cooked and Bar-B-Que Waffle. Made in Thomasville, Pa. 15 minutes from York, Pa. Loved by President Clinton. Really there are no others that compare.

Now, while I can’t say for sure  that former president Bill Clinton is an expert on snack foods… he does struggle with weight issues, so apparently the man likes his food.  Although, one could certainly question his taste in other areas such as women and politics… but I digress.  Hopefully his taste in food is discerning, and not like that of a garbage disposal (as is the case with some people who struggle with said weight issues).

After a quick Google search I found your website, and find it quite refreshing that you acknowledge the area “is located in south central Pennsylvania which is considered by many to be the snack food capital of the world.”  I assume that you welcome friendly snack competition from your aforementioned competitors then.  There is room for everyone at the snack table!

I must confess that I have never had any Martin’s products.  If I’ve seen them in a local store, I must have glossed over them.  This is something that I must correct, my friends!  Do you have a list of available products and/or a list of where your products are sold in the area surrounding Pittsburgh (more specifically just South of the city).

I do like Snyder of Berlin’s Honey BAR-B-Q chips, Herr’s Ketchup chips, and non-locals BEER CHIPS.  I would count those 3 among my favorites.  Perhaps you’ve heard of them?

At any rate… I like your promotion of snack unity for the region.  Perhaps you need to teach Snyder of Berlin and Snyder’s of Hanover a lesson!  Their passive aggressive packaging indicating that there is no association between one and the other when they clearly had a common origin is laughable and preposterous.  Do you feel the need on your packaging to indicate that you’re not associated with Martin Guitars?  That you can’t eat their guitars, and you can’t play your chips as a musical instrument?  I bet not.  (They’re also from that side of the state, aren’t they?)

I look forward to hearing from you, hope you had an excellent Independence Day weekend, and are ready to be back in the snack chip world!  Thank you in advance for your time and (hopefully) a continued dialog!

Champion Chip Connoisseur,
-Eric Aixelsyd

And here’s their reply:

from Chatney Almoney calmoney@martinschips.com
to world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
date Thu, Jul 8, 2010
subject Where can I find Martin’s Chips in & around Pittsburgh, PA?

Good Morning Eric Aixelsyd,

Thank you for inquiring about Martin’s Potato Chips.  We are a family owned company in York County.  We use a distributer in the Pittsburg area.  He said that the closest he can get to southern Pittsburg is Smithfield on Forbes at 234 Forbes Ave. He also said downtown carries several varieties as does McKees Rocks Foodland at 1100 Chartiers Ave.  Also, the Giant Eagle in Crafton (Crafton-Ingram Shopping Center) might be another convenient alternative.  I hope this helps you to find our products.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to look into our products.  We also carry a honey BBQ chip, but it is a little different than the Snyder of Berlin’s brand.  Our most popular products are our BBQ Waffle Chips, our Kettle Cook’d Chips and our Butter Popcorn.  I hope you enjoy them.

Thanks again,

Chatney Almoney
Sales Coordinator
Martin’s Potato Chips
calmoney@martinschips.com

Heh.  Chatney needs to learn about the “h” on the end of Pittsburgh.  She apparently side-stepped the Martin Guitars question, too.  I mean, they are only 2½ hours apart.

I see that Butch & Dave Potter don’t reply to the email address that’s posted as their contact address on the site.  Why put it out there if you’re not going to reply?

Also, I looked all through their online store, and don’t see any Honey BBQ chips.  I’m thoroughly confused.

All in all, I think I like Martin’s as a company.  They seem quaint.  They were the first to reply.  They do, however need a better website… and they need to address the Snyder vs. Snyder’s issue as well as the Martin Guitars inquiry.  Perhaps I should write to Martin guitars?

In all seriousness, I need to set up a factory tour road trip where I tour the Yuengling Brewery, the Martin Guitar Factory, and some chip manufacturers.

LIES ABOUT POTATO CHIPS


Today, I checked out a link on the Yahoo! site because it was simply titled “The Best Potato Chips“.  Well, I like potato chips… so I had to see what was up.  Well, the first annoying thing was that it said that there’s a list of 21 chips… but there are only 7 listen on the page… then the “Continue Reading…” link takes you to a slide show.  I hate slide show lists.  I want to see it all, right there in front of me, right away.  This isn’t a meeting, I don’t need a power point presentation.  These aren’t your vacation photos, I don’t need a slide show.

Turner Dairy | Chip DipThey did manage to recognize the awesome that is plain old ordinary Ruffles.  When I want to eat Turner’s chip dip, this is the chip that I must have.  Just ask anyone who works at the Rite Aid by my house.  I’m always there buying ruffles & Turner’s dip.  Really.  Just ask them…  “Is there a weird guy in here with crazy sideburns buying Turner’s Dip and Ruffles all the time?”  They’ll totally, be like “Yeah!”  I’m telling you.

As for the rest of this list though, it’s a lie.  Don’t believe it.  If the list had any credibility beyond being able to recognize the top of the line “ordinary” chip, it would have included Beer Chips or Snyder (of Berlin) Honey BBQ Chips.  There is just no excuse for these glaring omissions.  Shame on you, Shine From Yahoo!.  Shame on you.

BEER CHIPSI’ve written of Beer Chips before, here in my blog and at PittsburghBeat.com.  Why?  Because they’re awesome.  They’re next to impossible to put down.  I’m sure I could eat an entire bag without thinking about it, and probably have.  If we break them out when people are over, the bag disappears.  Kudos to the Beer Chips people on distribution, as I’ve seen them in places from Giant Eagle and Market District to Aldi.  You may have guessed that Beer Chips are chips somehow cooked with beer.  If you haven’t guessed this, then just stop reading, as all of this will be most likely lost on you anyway.  They’re sweet, they’re salty, and they do have a hint of a beer taste… but it’s ever so slight.  Of course, they also go great with a nice bottle of Yuengling, Straub, or Penn Pilsner in my experience.  Just writing this, I may have to stop at the store to get these next time I’m out.  They are that powerful.  I mean, I have beer in the ‘fridge, but how can I enjoy it now without Beer Chips?  I can’t.  That’s how.

Snyder of Berlin | Honey BBQ ChipsOn to the Snyder of Berlin Honey Bar-B-Q Potato Chips.  First off, I love honey BBQ in general.  Gooski’s Honey BBQ wings are one of my favorite foods ever.  You just  generally can’t go wrong with Honey BBQ.  I think my first experience with these was at camp.  They were out as a snack one night and I think I ate most of the bag.  I couldn’t stop.  Again, these have that incredible sweet/salty combination that is a win every time.  I know you can generally get them at most Sheetz locations, but it’s hit or miss if they’re there in Giant Eagle or wherever I happen to be grocery shopping.  If I see them, I just unconsciously grab them and only realize they’re in my hand or the grocery cart when I go to check out.  Now, one must beware of the Herr’s and Wise imitations.  Well, I don’t know who was really first… but for my own personal tastes, Snyder of Berlin is the standard Honey BBQ chip to which all others ought to be measured.  Actually, the Herr’s is an acceptable substitute if necessary, but the Wise ones are just inferior chips altogether.

Speaking of imitations, one of these days I need to get down to the Snyder of Berlin vs. Snyder’s of Hanover thing.  (There’s even a creepy Facebook group about the rift…) They each have that ominous and almost vindictive disclaimer on their packaging that they’re not associated with the other. Too weird.

Herr's | Ketchup ChipsThere are, of course, a few others worth mentioning…  Herr’s makes some bad-ass Ketchup flavored chips, some Salt & Pepper ones, and a bunch of other cool/weird flavors.  Utz makes a bunch of flavors and are quite decent chips.  (Is it “uhtz” or “ootz”?) Although, I see a “crab” flavor, and that scares me a little.  I may have to write to them about that.  Snyder of Berlin also has a ton of interesting varieties, another of my favorites being the kettle-cooked Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper chips.

You may thank me that you’re now more informed on the subject of the best potato chips than the average Shine From Yahoo! reader.  I’d be interested to see if you agree with me or if you’re just wrong.  Please feel free to talk about your favorites in the comments section!