About Pringles Potato Chips

Q: Did you ever wonder what Pringles potato chips were made of?

A: Known to most people, Pringles potato chips are made from dehydrated and flaked potatoes. Unknown to most is the source of these potato flakes.

Have you ever wondered what McDonald's does with their left-over french fries?

In most areas of the world local health regulations require that food cannot sit under a heat lamp for more than 16 minutes before it is deemed inconsumable by the public. It is at this time interval that one of the largest suppliers of fast food for the world supplies one of the largest manufacturers of potato chips their base ingredient. McDonald's carefully collects unserved french fries and places them into specially created dehydrators. The remains are then flaked and placed into airtight containers which are then shipped to Pringles factories all over the world.

Don't believe me? Check out this excerpt from the Pringles website:

How are Pringles made?
We're glad you noticed that Pringles are shaped differently and taste different. While Pringles contain the same basic ingredients found in other chip products, we take a totally radical approach to the way we mix our ingredients. We buy potatoes in the form of potato flakes and then add just enough water and other wholesome ingredients to make a smooth potato dough. The dough is cut in uniform shapes and these cut-outs are placed on pre-formed and Pringles-shaped carriers. The crisps are quick-fried and seasoned just right. Finally, they go to the stack-packer and then on to your favorite store. 

http://www.pringles.com/qa.shtml (Sorry, it's an old link, it doesn't work anymore ... they probably removed it because of this story... try this one) is where this excerpt comes from. Click on the link and read it for yourself.

NOW YOU KNOW!

Follow-up

The people at Pringles have written Robrob8 an email (July 11 2001) expressing their concern in having the truth made known about the manufacture of their potato chips. You can read it below.

ABC News followed up this story (or rather copied it from my site) on July 6 2008 on this page.

They have since changed their news report but thanks to BART, I have below a screenshot of the story:

News story about Pringles Potato Chips as reported...

Pringles Responds

This is the email, in full and unedited, received July 11 2001.

Hello, Rob.

I work in P&G Consumer Relations and have responsibility for the people who answer email messages about P&G products. I'm writing to ask for your help. Recently, a consumer got in touch to let us know about your "Did you ever wonder what Pringles potato chips were made of?" article. While she understood the article was written in fun, it had been passed to her by people who may not have been as sure.

http://www.robrob8.com/you_wanted_to_know/pringles_potato_chips.htm

I checked out your site and think you have a great thing going -- lots of clever "tongue-in-cheek" postings. I enjoyed your outrageous claim that ingredients for Pringles come from a famous maker of french-fries. However, there are enough facts mixed into many of your articles that we feel people may not fully understand the Pringles article is a spoof.

I'm sure you can appreciate how important it is for us to create and maintain trust in our products. We want the people who buy Pringles to be confident that only fresh raw materials are used to make the dehydrated potato flake ingredient. Since there are indications that your article may be misinterpreted as factual, we respectfully request that you remove it from your site or clearly indicate that it is a spoof.

Thanks for your time. Wishing you success with your site!

Beth Pohlmeyer pohlmeyer.em@pg.com
Procter & Gamble Consumer Relations

Final Statement by Robrob8

I hope that such a big company, that probably makes more than US$100,000,000.00 a year (maybe even more than a billion dollars a year!) decides to NOT go after poor little Robrob8 for merely passing along a story that he was told when he was little. Maybe they want Uncle John's address and they can go after him instead. After all, he started it!

But, you never know how Urban Legends start, do you? For my part, this topic ends right here. I don't need another problem, do I?