If there's one thing the Midwest enjoys more than butter sculptures of John Mellencamp, it's fried potatoes. In Detroit, they're specifically wild about Better Made. The 85-year-old brand boasts serious local love, even if it has a seriously weird understanding of the word "rainbow."
Sterzing's was originally just side cashflow for founder Barney Sterzing's candy empire, but quickly evolved into an Iowa institution. Just how much of an institution? The reason the company even started international shipping was to feed hungry Midwestern boys serving in Vietnam who wrote in begging Sterzing's for their beloved snacks. The brand still provides snacks to servicemen today, making them some of the most patriotic potato chips around.
While Jays Foods has technically changed addresses since it was acquired by Snyder's, it's still considered a proud Chicago tradition. You'll find them in hundreds of Windy City supermarkets, and even important local legends. (Al Capone kept them in his speakeasies. Seriously!)
This family-owned operation has been around for so long, they don't call their ridged chips "wavy" but rather "marcelled." This refers to a '20s hairstyle that was popular when Fred and Ethel Ballreich first set up shop. That was the only hair to inform their snacks, though, so don't go looking for "bouffant" or "mullet" bags.
In Cincinnati, if someone tells you to "get a grip," you don't need to wake up and confront cruel reality. You just need to open a bag of Grippo's. Thanks, Angelo Grippo!
The century-old company caters to local tastes with a Cincinnati-style chili flavor, redneck tastes with a beer can chicken variety, and everyone's tastes with a mesquite-smoked bacon bag.
Jones Potato Chip Company
Jones is a little younger than those other OG Ohio companies, but it's still had plenty of time to build up cred in Mansfield. And become a Mother's Day staple, apparently.
Whether you're after kettle, "home style," tortilla, or savory chips, Shearer's has you covered. Seriously, they weren't kidding about the savory part -- there's a hot dog flavor.
Finally, though they tend to miss the boat on a lot of food/drink fun, South Dakota even has a horse in this game. Dakota Style might not have the same brand recognition as the rest of the gang, but it does have cinnamon churro kettle chips, which is nice.