The Silicon Review
“Kettle had about as humble a start as can be had. Our founder sold natural foods from a van way back in 1978. His original vision—great taste with real, less processed foods—has been our driving ambition ever since.”
The kettle has always been about real people who care about what we do. The time and attention each Kettle worker puts into our products, as each one makes its way from farms to our kitchens and then to your home, is care you can taste.
It all began with a vision and a van—a vision to fuse the natural with the savory, to create a great tasting, a wholesome product everyone would fall in love with and a beat-up van that would become the very first Kettle Foods delivery truck.
We had already been making roasted nuts and other natural goodies for a few years when, on that fateful day in 1982, we perfected the very first bags of Kettle Brand® potato chips. We probably should have kept them around to put in a display case someday, but they were just too darned good. Needless to say, an obsession was born. From that very first day, though, a single philosophy has guided us: use only the freshest, all-natural ingredients to create intensely flavored, wonderfully craveable potato chips you can feel good about eating.
Over the years, we’ve carefully added new flavors and even expanded our line to include the Krinkle Cut™ variety, Kettle Brand® Organic Chips, and Kettle Brand® Baked Potato Chips, creating entirely new categories for our fans to love.
Kettle Natural Promise Extends Beyond the Ingredients
Biodiesel: At Kettle Brand®, we consciously use the healthiest sunflower and safflower oils, which is why we think it’s fitting that we run a growing fleet of company vehicles on distilled vegetable oil, known as biodiesel. In fact, 100% of the waste vegetable oil from our production process is converted into biodiesel. This rich nectar that we like to call “Flower Power®” is a natural alternative to petroleum diesel fuel. Its use benefits all of us by saving as much as 8 tons in CO2 emissions every year.
Solar Power: In September 2003, to celebrate our 25th anniversary we created an inspiring rooftop view. We partnered with the Energy Trust of Oregon, Portland General Electric, and others to install one of the largest grid-tied solar PV arrays in the Pacific Northwest (a 114 KW 3-phase system designed and installed by Advanced Energy Systems of Eugene, Oregon). Using more than 600 solar panels set on roof-mounted racks, our plant now generates more than 120,000kWh of electricity per year. That’s enough power to make 250,000 bags of chips and reduce annual CO2 emissions by 65 tons.
Wind Power: We’re blowing off conventional energy sources with renewable wind energy. Since 2006, Kettle Brand® has been purchasing wind energy credits to offset 100 percent of our electricity use in the U.S. This annually prevents more than 13,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution (CO2), the major contributing cause of global warming. That’s equivalent to taking 2,700 cars off the road or the CO2 emissions of 1,200 homes for a year. In September 2012, Kettle Brand® was the recipient of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership Award for our distinguished contribution in this area.
Green Building: At Kettle Brand® we’ve always believed that good business can coexist with nature. Our commitment starts with using only the best, all-natural ingredients and extends to our backyard where we work to preserve natural habitat, protect the environment and use energy responsibly. With every crunch of our Kettle Brand® Potato Chips, you’re helping us make that dream come true.
Packaging: Part of our commitment to the environment includes taking a close look at how we package our products. Our packaging has traditionally been made up of several layers for protection from heat, light, and air. But by removing the paper layer of our chip bags, we’ve reduced the material of the bag by 20%, saving over 22,000 trees annually and preventing over 450,000 pounds of packaging from going into landfills each year.
Wetlands & Prairies: The Kettle Brand® facility in Salem, Oregon is located adjacent to a nearly 2-acre wetland that serves as an overflow zone when nearby Mill Creek, a native salmon stream, overflows its banks. The area is home to many species of animal and plants. We’ve introduced native plants such as Aster, Camas, Red Alder, Lupine, and Sword Fern. We’ve also introduced aquatic plant species such as Wapato and Marsh Pennywort to enhance biological diversity in the wetland pond. In the process, a variety of native wetland animals have taken up residence, including a family of herons. Finally, we created a trail system for people to enjoy the area, complete with interpretive signs and benches for sitting and enjoying this natural area.
Community Giving: Like our potatoes, our community giving has roots. Since the early days back in 1978, we’ve looked for ways to help our neighbors. Today, we donate money, product and time to local organizations. Our efforts begin at the grassroots level – from donating chips for fundraising events at local schools to volunteering our time at area non-profits. Plus, every year we give more than 175,000 pounds of potatoes to local hunger relief agencies and Kettle Brand® products to schools and organizations such as The Wetlands Conservancy and the National Wildlife Federation. We call it chipping in.
Cameron Healy, Founder:
“When you open a bag of Kettle brand potato chips, you know you’re getting the best tasting, natural chips made with real ingredients by real people.”
“We’re chipping in to live in harmony with the environment around us, through a variety of sustainable business practices. The truth is, we all need to care for the planet. After all, it’s where we grow all those fresh, natural potatoes.”