Potato Chip Trivia Question!

Junior Burger
2003/09/23 10:59:13

Has anyone here heard of Mad Hatter Potato Chips?

They were distributed in the London, Ontario area in the late 50's and early 60's. I'm looking for any information and images if available and so far, I've not had any luck .. [|)]

Thanks in advance ..

Geoff Steinberg
Junior Burger
RE: Potato Chip Trivia Question! 2003/09/25 16:37:09
No, but if you're still looking I wonder how great they were! What do you remember about them that's making you search this long and far?

By the way there was a kind of bubblegum I used to have when I was a kid, came in packs of 5 long sticks (like juice fruit). The flavour went away almost immediately, but when it was there it was the best tasting gum I'd ever eat. I'd blow my entire allowance on this stuff and it would be gone within 10 minutes.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Potato Chip Trivia Question! 2003/09/25 16:49:45
I searched the web for some time yesterday and found NOTHING. I tried though. If you were looking for dill pickle, or steak and onion flavors I could help.
As for the gum, it's all that way now days. I used to stop at the store on my way to school with my lunch money on some days and spend my entire .55 on gum, back then that'd be 55 pieces. If I didn't spend it there it'd be at a local sandwich shop for a half swiss half american cheese sandwich melted on sourdough. That sandwich costs $4.95 now......
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Potato Chip Trivia Question! 2003/09/25 16:55:13
Oh by the way, the gum was "bazooka" was and is still my fav. Haven't seen it sold by the piece in awhile. A box of 20 though is $1.00.
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Potato Chip Trivia Question! 2003/09/26 07:52:13

Try this site ... http://www.taquitos.net/

It seems to have everything you ever wanted to know about any type of Chip !!!
RE: Potato Chip Trivia Question! 2003/10/14 17:55:51
[id="quote"]quote: What do you remember about them that's making you search this long and far?

Actually, Flowercat was just trying to help me out! I'm a collector of the hockey, baseball, space etc. coins that were inserted as premiums into potato chips as well as jelly desserts in the early and mid sixties which has set me to wondering what became of various chip companies!

With respect to Mad Hatter, I recall it being a relatively uncommon brand in London that disappeared in the early sixties. The graphics on the bag were excellent but the chips weren't very good at all despite the fact that an "exotic" bacon and hickory flavour was available. Evidently the chips were sold in other Ontario locales as well and one fellow thinks that the Mad Hatter Chip company was based in the Maritimes and could have been a McCain venture.

I'm also trying to learn what became of the Krun-Chee Potato Chip company that had operations in Chicago, Detroit and Windsor, Ontario up until sometime in the sixties. Was Krun-Chee simply a Gordons brand name? But what happened to Gordons?

The Hunters Potato Chip company was based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This company also disappeared in the sixties. Did Nalleys acquire Hunters? The Nalleys Chip company was acquired by its Canadian managers in the mid nineties but they closed the operations down and sold the trademarks a couple of years ago. The Old Dutch company produces Nalleys snack foods under a licencing agreement these days.

Finally, what happened to Schulers Potato Chips which sold chips in the northeastern part of the U.S. and in the province of Quebec in the sixties?

post edited by Hepcat - 2012/09/28 12:36:11
Junior Burger
RE: Potato Chip Trivia Question! 2006/01/01 15:18:54
Hello flowercat.

Absolutely I've heard of Mad Hatter potato chips. They were my favourite by far and I consumed copeous quantities as a child growing up in Toronto back in the sixties.

Unfortunately I do not have nor have I been able to locate any old bags or advertising. I do however have some very keen memories which I hope will be of some interest to you.

The package itself as I remember was predominately red with blue and white trim and centered on the front was the Mad Hatter character with the trademark hat and card which displayed the 10 cent price. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, special bags were used at Exhibition Stadium, and I'm sure at many other rip the consumer off events, which had blank cards in the Mad Hatter's hat so they could charge 15 cents.

There was five different varieties available each indvidually distinguishable by a coloured horizontal bar at the lower section of the bag. Regular(blue w/white letters), Rippled(same as regular with the word "rippled" in wavy fonts), BBQ(yellow w/red letters), Bacon & Hicory(orange w/can't remember letter colour), and Onion & Garlic(green w/black letters).

Mad Hatter chips were around until at least 1969 and I had always thought that they were bought out by Hostess which came on the scene about the same time although I'm quite certain both were available for at least a couple of years.

Prior to Hostess, I only remember Sherrif(terrible chips), Humpty Dumpty, Lays and of course Mad Hatter. Hostess sure were innovative as far as new flavours but my favourite, simulated Hot Dog in 1971, was only around for a couple or three years.

Anyway I'm glad to know that I'm not alone in missing Mad Hatter potato chips and please keep me apprised of any memorabillia type finds or information.


John Knight
Junior Burger
Re:Potato Chip Trivia Question! 2009/09/21 14:06:40
Yes I worked there around 1968. Mad Hatter potatoe chips were made by Federal Farms. They were located in Bradford Ontario. Federal Farms packaged celery, carrots, lettuce, etc. as well as producing mad hatter chips. As I recall they put a gum ball in every bag when I worked there. I don't know what happened to federal farms but I worked in the same building in 1978 manufacturing corrugated cardboard boxes for a company called Cameron Packaging.
If you can't find anything about federal farms in Bradford Ont. try Holland Landing Ont. The facility was actually located on the dividing loine between the 2 communities.
Re:Potato Chip Trivia Question! 2011/05/11 14:41:02
Thank you! That's great information. I had heard a rumour that Mad Hatter was a brand out of the Maritimes perhaps owned by the McCain family but I guess that it wasn't the case.
I now remember the bubble gum ball in the bags! I remember being drawn to Mad Hatter chips by the exotic Bacon 'n Hickory flavour but I also remember the chips being somewhat coarse and not really very good.
Hostess was the most commonly found brand in London, Ontario in the early sixties followed by Shirriff. These both came in Regular, BBQ and Onion & Garlic flavours. New Era chips were the third most common but the logo of the lady on the bag made them appear like adult chips so I wasn't attracted to buy them. Humpty Dumpty and Krun-Chee chips could also be found as could Mad Hatter but Hostess chips were ten times as common.
I don't remember seeing Mad Hatter Potato Chips anywhere in London after the early sixties. Krun-Chee Potato Chips could still be found in the occasional variety store until the mid-sixties. Even New Era and Shirrifff disappeared from London shelves sometime in the late sixties leaving Hostess and the much smaller Humpty Dumpty to split the market.

Do either of you two fellows remember premium coins such as football, warship or space coins ever being packaged in the Mad Hatter chips as a premium?

post edited by Hepcat - 2012/09/28 12:37:03
Re:Potato Chip Trivia Question! 2012/09/27 14:02:24
Old chip companies are constantly on my mind since I'm an avid collector of the premium coins that were inserted as prizes in bags of potato chips. For example, a set of sixty Space Orbit coins were issued as premiums in Dare, Krun-Chee and Hunter's Potato Chips in Canada in 1965(?). Here are scans of some of my Dare Space Orbit coins:

And here are scans of some of my Krun-Chee Potato Chip Space Orbit coins:

The Dare coins are more common than the Krun-Chee ones since Dare chips were distributed in and around Toronto while the Krun-Chee chip plant was in Windsor and the chips weren't sold much beyond southwestern Ontario. Krun-Chee chips were not that common even in London when I was a kid. Meanwhile, the Hunter's Space Orbit coins are the toughest of them all. I have only one.
A U.S. variant of the Space Orbit coin set was also issued with Gordon's Potato Chips and Krun-Chee Corn Chips. To avoid offending delicate American sensibilities, the coins of Commie Soviets Yuri Gagarin, Gherman Titov and Nikita Kruschev were replaced with coins bearing less threatening images. Here is a scan of a sheet of my Gordon's ones:

As you can see, John Kennedy was deemed a suitable image albeit Kruschev was not. Here's a scan of a sheet of my Krun-Chee Corn Chip coins:

Here are scans of my Space Magic coins that were premiums within Krun-Chee, Schuler's and Nalley's Potato Chips in 1964 or so:

Although all these brands were also sold somewhere in Canada at the time, my impression is that these coins were only distributed in the U.S. since that's where they all seem to originate these days.
post edited by Hepcat - 2012/09/27 14:04:11
Re:Potato Chip Trivia Question! 2012/09/28 09:39:25
Neat stuff from the Space Age!  Looks like you have them in order; the empty pockets are for specific coins?
Re:Potato Chip Trivia Question! 2012/09/28 11:17:15
Yes, the empty pockets are for coins that I don't yet have.
I collect many kinds of premium coins. A twenty coin set of Warships was issued by Krun-Chee, Schuler's and Hunter's. Here is a scan of my Krun-Chee set:

I used to ride my bike eight blocks to get to a corner variety store that sold Krun-Chee Potato Chips to get these coins as a kid. The Warships may have been strictly a Canadian issue. Here though are a couple of pictures of some of the sixty coins of my Old London Rocky & Bullwinkle set:


Old London Potato Chips were sold in Pennsylvania and in other adjacent northeastern States.

post edited by Hepcat - 2012/09/28 11:21:10
Re:Potato Chip Trivia Question! 2012/09/28 18:12:04
Any suggestions for the current not-to-be-missed Canadian Potato Chip scene...Mr. Cat?

I'll be there in a few weeks.
Re:Potato Chip Trivia Question! 2012/10/01 12:31:03
Unfortunately, the chip companies that I mentioned earlier in this thread - Mad Hatter, Krun-Chee, Shirriff and Humpty Dumpty - have all either closed their doors or sold out to better financed competitors. Here's what I can still suggest on the snack front though. I've also included a numerical Yummy Rating out of 10

Rating 9
Hostess was the dominant brand of chips in Canada for decades. Not surprising since General Foods had acquired the company in 1959 and used its distribution muscle to dominate the chip market until the early nineties when kettle cooked chips hit the marketplace. In an attempt to gain the economies of scale to compete against the kettle cooked chip onslaught,  General Foods entered into a business combination with Lay's in 1996. The Hostess brand of chips virtually disappeared and surfaces only occasionally as a discount brand now in supermarkets.
The Hickory Sticks though are unique and continue to proudly carry the Hostess name brand.

Rating: 8
While Humpty Dumpty was swallowed up by Old Dutch Chips of Calgary in 2006, the Humpty Dumpty name brand is still used on certain products. I like the Barbecue Corn Chips. They're at least as good as Frito's.

Rating 7
Slightly different than Cheetos but just as good!


Rating 7
Uniquely Canadian Quebec based chips! Unfortunately the Indian boy logo is no longer featured on the bags. Very tough to find in Ontario though. 

Rating 5
Maybe I'm just prejudiced against Old Dutch for replacing the Humpty Dumpty brand name that I so loved, but I don't think their chips are even as good as Lay's. They're worth a try I guess but they're not nearly as widely sold as Lay's so you might have to look around for them. 

 Rating 4

This is the brand of kettle cooked chips that took the Canadian market by storm in the early nineties. If you like kettle cooked chips, you'll like them fine. Personally though I've never been a fan of the kettle cooked variety. 

post edited by Hepcat - 2012/10/05 11:37:26
Re:Potato Chip Trivia Question! 2012/10/02 08:22:28
Thank you Hepcat!

I recall a good salt & pepper chip in Canada...but I can't remember the brand.

Salty snacks to go with the beloved Coffee Crisp!
Re:Potato Chip Trivia Question! 2012/10/02 13:03:00
CCinNJ I recall a good salt & pepper chip in Canada...but I can't remember the brand.

Probably these:


Re:Potato Chip Trivia Question! 2012/10/02 13:48:23

Thank you Hepcat!

Salty snacks to go with the beloved Coffee Crisp!

And speaking of Coffee Crisp, here are the uniquely Canadian sweet treats I'd strongly recommend:

Rating 10
Nothing like Vachon Passion Flakies are sold in the United States and they are simply the best! They can be bought individually wrapped at most variety stores but buy a whole box of six. You won't regret it. They'll make you want to move to Canada.

Rating 9
My very favourite chocolate bar! Originally Willard's Extra Big, Neilson's retitled the brand after acquiring Willard's in the seventies. Since 1996 Neilson's has been part of the Cadbury conglomerate, but the Mr. Big chocolate bar remains the single best in North America. Even a multi-national hasn't been able to screw it up.

Rating 9
Previously a Lowney's brand but since the nineties Lowney's has been part of the Hershey conglomerate. Cherry Blossom is tough to find these days but is worth it! Talk about a mega dose of sweet flavour!

Rating 8
A touch tastier than Oh Henry and that's saying a lot! Sweet Marie is also just a few grams smaller. It was another of the Willard's brands.

Rating 7.5
Get an Oh Henry too. It may very well be better than the Oh Henry bars sold in the States. And of course you can compare it to the Sweet Marie bar.

Rating 7
For peppermint lovers! Not as smooth as the York Peppermint Patties, but the Pep has it all over whatever else when it comes to appearance. Another one time Neilson's brand now made by Cadbury.

post edited by Hepcat - 2012/10/02 13:50:50
Re:Potato Chip Trivia Question! 2012/10/25 12:31:18
Baseball coins were included as premiums in both Shirriff Potato Chips and Shirriff Jelly Desserts in Canada in 1962. Here are scans from my set:

Basically the same coins were issued in Salada Junket products in the States.


Re:Potato Chip Trivia Question! 2012/10/26 01:36:27
I don't ever remember USA chip companies putting anything other than Chips in their bags.
 You have a terrific collection!