Monday, June 26, 2017

Lay’s New Era Potato Chips

I’ve written about potato chips (a weakness of mine) a few times on this blog over the years, usually discussing local favorite Arvay’s Potato Chips.

Well, here’s an article about a popular potato chip brand – New Era Potato Chips – that was gobbled up by Lay’s (which at the time did not yet have its own signature brand).

The story, which ran in the advertising pages of the June 28, 1965 Lorain Journal, tells the tale of how Lays decided to add its name to the package as sort of a transitional effort to rebrand the product. The article is basically publicity for well-known distributor Pete DeSantis, but it's interesting just the same.

If you’re interested in advertising (as I am), then it’s always fascinating to watch how a product become popular, and then – at the height of its success – is often acquired by a competitor, or perhaps a company that has no similar product and wishes to get into the market. The product is then co-branded for a while before it is wholly absorbed into the acquiring company, which grinds the original brand (in this case, New Era) into so many crushed potato chip crumbs to be discarded.

In this case, however, it seems New Era may have made a nostalgic comeback in its native Detroit. The forgotten brand was apparently purchased by Better Made Potato Chips, which occasionally cranks up a batch of New Era for local distribution. Click here for the story.


-Alan D Hopewell said...

New Era was, IMHO, better before Lay's took them over; I miss them. Also, Thomasson's, when they had that hint-of-butter taste to them, was a great chip.

-Alan D Hopewell said...

Almost forgot....the DeSantis' house was around the corner from us on 21st Street, and Mrs. DeSantis (Joe and Pete's mother) would sit out on the porch in good weather, and give away free bags of chips to the kids.