Sunday, May 20, 2012

Herr's Snack Factory

Picture found on Google Images. I did not take this picture and am in no way claiming it as my own.

On May 10th, I went to the Herr’s Potato Chip Factory in Pennsylvania. We went with school on a field trip. It had been my second time to the Herr’s factory, but my first with school, or rather, any group at all.
Upon first arriving at the factory, not much seemed familiar, but it had been a while since my last visit, so I guess that was to be expected. So, you walk into the factory and there is a gift shop off to the right and a café off to the left. Chipper’s Café is what it’s called. A bit of to the left but still mainly centered is a set of doors leading to a theatre. This is where the tour begins.
When you first start the tour, you go into the theatre and watch a short, 10-minute video on the history of the factory and the company. Did you know that Herr’s Potato Chips is now Herr’s Food, since it now produces more than just potato chips? But one thing that I did catch that was not entirely correct was that before the movie started, just like in a movie theatre, they had little facts and tidbits on the screen. One of them said that the first flavor of potato chip that Herr’s created was the Salt and Vinegar flavor, but in the history film, they stated that the first potato chip flavor Herr’s created was Barbeque. Maybe they created them both around the same time, or maybe someone made a simple mistake.
After the movie, you are taken to see the making of pretzels in a separate building from everything else. You are then taken back into the main factory to see how they create tortilla chips and popcorn. Later you see how it is all ‘purified’ and packaged. You then continue the journey to the part most anticipated – the potato chip part. Once we left the movie theatre and entered the actual factories, the tour I previously took at the factory came back to me, so I assume that the movie is somewhat new, or it was just a bit uninteresting to me at the time, so I did not bother to remember it.
Anywho, we spent quite a while in the factory and it was quite interesting how the potato chips are made. They separate the chips into sizes so that big ones go into bigger bags, and smaller ones go into smaller bags. Chips with green or brown spots are taken out – well, most of them anyway – even though they are completely safe to eat. The green spots are simply sunburns on the potatoes and shows that some part of the potato was grown above ground. The brown spots are just extra sugar that was in the potato. When they are cooked, the extra sugar crystallizes, creating a brown spot. Personally, the brown spots have always been my favorite, and I guess now we know why! Also, if the chip is folded or bent, that is simply because they sometimes get folded or bent on a separator or a slicer or something and they cooled that way. I always love the folded ones the best, too. I guess I just like the misfit chips.
Then we were given samples, my favorite part. Of course I remembered the hot potato chip samples from the last time. Thank God they didn’t get rid of them! Just five (5) minutes prior to us consuming the warm potato chip, it was a part of a whole, uncooked potato. It’s pretty amazing how a potato can become a delicious chip in less than 5 minutes.
I had a good time and I would definitely do it again. I would totally recommend this tour to people. It wasn’t a very long tour. We were told it was going to take an hour, but we had our phones away so I’m not sure if it was an hour long or not, but I assume it was. I learned a lot and it was definitely better than being in school all day!

Location: (Herr's Website)
Herr Foods Inc.
20 Herr Drive
Nottingham, PA 19362-9788
If you would like more information,
you may contact us by phone at:

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