Whatever happened to …

… Hostess potato chips?

Thanks to Ramona Meharg for this concept for the post.

Was watching a documentary on the invention and development of potato chip industry in USA and how Frito Lay came to be. Got me wondering about the Canadian brand: Hostess chips. They were my favs as a kid. Thought it might make a good Whatever Happened To post for you, if you haven’t already done one on them.

Of course, I hadn’t done this topic. I didn’t know that Hostess Chips were no longer available! I read the article above and realized that I’d missed it!

It’s not like I hadn’t enjoyed them. At our community swimming pool, they had two packaged treats that we’d often get after an afternoon there. On the one side was Cheesey Popcorn and the other side had Hostess Potato Chips. As I think back, there were two flavours – regular and salt & vinegar. Often, we’d see the Hostess truck pull up to deliver and sometimes if you whined enough the truck driver would comp us a bag.

After Ramona’s prompt, I looked around and thought about current offerings at the local grocery stores. We don’t always have chips on hand here at home but, when we do, they’re typically the Sobey branded Compliments if they’re on sale. If we’re having company and I fondly remember that from over a year ago, we’d up our chip factor to Miss Vickies. And dip. If you’re coming over, give us a day to get stuff in!

While back in the day, we had a choice of plain or salt & vinegar, it’s amazing the different flavours for sale these days.

  • BBQ
  • Ketchup
  • Jalapeno
  • Buffalo Chicken
  • Dill Pickle
  • Honey Dijon
  • Cheese and Herbs

I maintain that one of the reasons I kept being added to the CSTA conference planning committee was that I would bring Ketchup flavoured potato chips with me since they’re not readily available south of the border. I always bring Pringles since they won’t crunch when packed into a suitcase. I know it keeps my friendship with Alfred Thompson alive since he’s a lover of them. I will also never forget the look on Angela Maiers’ face when she bit into one of them at an event in London.

So, for a Sunday morning, your thoughts about this?

  • Did you know that Hostess Potato Chips were not around?
  • When it comes to potato chips, do you have a brand loyalty?
  • How do you feel about store branded products?
  • Do you bring in special chips when you have company?
  • What’s your favourite flavour? I’m a Dill Pickle type of guy
  • Dip? or no dip?
  • Are Pringles really potato chips?
  • Can you tell the difference between a store brand or a higher priced name brand?
  • Did I miss a flavour in my listing?

I’d be most interested in your thoughts. Please share them in the comments below.

If you have an idea for a post, why not reach out and share it with me like Ramona did? All the previous topics are stored here.

9 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …

  1. Good morning Doug!

    Your list is missing “Sour Cream and Onion,” which was my fav as a kid.

    I didn’t know the answer to the question of “whatever happened to Hostess potato chips,” but a little online research provided not only the answer, but also provoked some reflection which explained to a large extent my interaction with “chips“ over the past 20 odd years.

    1. I cut the cable to broadcast television over a decade ago, and clearly advertisements for things like potato chips and chocolate bars are one of the things that I have lost out on as a result. It’s been a long time since I purchased either of those products. Clearly, they don’t advertise on the Internet – – please don’t let them know, as I am happy without them creeping into my web browsing.

    2. Going back two decades, however, I can trace my formal departure from potato chips to the introduction of Dorito’s Sweet Chilli Heat. I would’ve first encountered them at the tuck shop at the middle school I was teaching in at the time, and very soon they became my preferred munchie for when my sons and I would settle down for our Friday evening videos. The Wikipedia article on Hostess potato chips has something to say about corn chips.

    One thing I don’t miss is the after effect on the inside of your mouth after eating too many potato chips too quickly. All of those sharp points (coupled with the salt) could really wreak havoc. I think that was part of the impetus behind my shift to Doritos. Because the chips were thicker, they didn’t generate the razor-thin slices of potato that could be problematic if eaten too quickly and without sufficient care.

    Pringles were an interesting innovation when they first arrived because of the way they nested. It was clear that they were remanufactured chips, and as a result tended not to have the sharp edges of more traditional potato chips. The Pringles cans were also nice to re-purpose as containers for various things.

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  2. It’s only been Old Dutch chips all my life, but I know the brand doesn’t reach the shelves in S. Ont. very much, if at all? (made in MB) It was a bit of a blow to learn that I couldn’t purchase them when I attended university in the “south”. It quickly became a regular item in care packages from home. I have tried other brands, including Hostess in the past, but I guess I am loyal to Old Dutch. Like Andrew, I liked sour cream and onion flavour of the brand when I was a kid too. BBQ was another fav, but I stick to “plain” ripple now — with a homemade dip on occasion. We purchase Miss Vickies from time to time as the only departure for a change or for a party. I don’t eat the volume of chips like I used to though. I have never cared for the taste of Pringles. Pretty set in my ways when it comes to chips 🙂
    Have you ever tried Old Dutch chips, Doug? Maybe when you travelled to Thunder Bay? Shall I send you some? 🙂

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  3. Doug, I totally missed this news! While dill pickle is also one of my favourite flavours, Hostess had the best BBQ chips ever. Spicy and salty. Yum! You have my mouth watering now. A downside to this week’s topic perhaps. 🙂 Makes me wonder what other brands have gone by the wayside over time.

    Aviva

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  4. You have a lot of brands in Canada that we don’t have in the US. Probably a good thing.

    I don’t remember there being multiple flavors of potato chips when I was a kid. We also didn’t have fancy dips. At least not in my house. My siblings and I used to dip potato chips in ketchup though. That is probably why I like ketchup potato chips. My local supermarket sometimes has ketchup potato chips in stock. I usually buy a bag or two just to have in the house for when I get in the mood for some. Humpty Dumpty is the brand and an internet search says they were founded in Maine but are headquartered in Canada now. They are called Old Dutch in Canada.

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