Snacks & Candy

Kettle Chip Contest Raises Bar

New flavor candidates include bloody Mary, dirty martini

SALEM, Ore. -- For the first time, Kettle Foods is making limited batches of five flavorsSpicy Mary, Dirty Martini, Creamy Caesar, Tuscan Three Cheese and Buffalo Bleu Cheeseinspired by classic food and drinks found on Happy Hour menus for tasting at home.

Kettle Foods is again letting fans decide which one will be put into production in the company's second annual People's Choice campaign. The company is selling People's Choice Happy Hour Party Packs, which include a 5-oz. bag of each flavor. Available only at www.kettlefoods.com for $9.95 plus shipping, consumers can try each of the flavors and then go online and rate each one on the "Crave-O-Meter," a five-point scale of deliciousness.

Voting began earlier this week at www.straightupflavor.com.

Carolyn Richards, Chief Flavor Architect of Salem, Ore.-based Kettle Foods, offered the following descriptions of the nominated flavors:

Spicy Mary: Spicy Mary has a smoky, spicy tomato vinegar base inspired by the bloody Mary. It has hints of pickled veggies and spices like black and red pepper, ginger and allspice, as well as celery. Dirty Martini: The flavor of the Dirty Martini chip comes from a mix of herbs including juniper, as well as a strong olive flavor. Creamy Caesar Krinkle Cut: This chip combines the flavor of a Caesar salad (minus the anchovies), including garlic and green onion, with buttermilk and parmesan cheese. Tuscan Three Cheese Krinkle Cut: Reminiscent of bruschetta, this flavor combines sweet and tangy roasted pepper and tomato with aged goat and Romano cheeses. Buffalo Bleu Cheese Krinkle Cut: Based on the classic bar food favorite, buffalo wings with bleu cheese dressing, this chip has a smoky tomato base with celery and bleu cheese flavors.

Last fall, Kettle Foods invited consumers to nominate flavors, which were then narrowed down to these five choices.

Consumers can rate each of the five flavors online through March 31, 2006. Everyone who votes online will be entered to win a year's supply of chips. The winning People's Choice flavor will be announced in April and on grocery store shelves this summer. Last year, more than 50,000 votes were cast by consumers to choose the company's first-ever People's Choice selections: Cheddar Beer and Spicy Thai.

The 2006 People's Choice flavor will debut at the Fancy Food Show, the leading specialty food industry trade show, in New York City this July. Available to consumers in grocery and natural food stores in 5-oz. bags nationally later this summer they will retail for $1.99.

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