10 Things You Didn't Know About Pringles
Before 1968, potato chips were limited to noisy bags and, most importantly, making duck bills with them was incredibly difficult. Thankfully, Pringles finally arrived. The salty snacks came in cans and featured revolutionary curves, making them seem positively futuristic. Nearly 50 years later, we're still not sure if you can stop once you pop, but we do know a thing or two about the chips' mascot, international flavors, and eccentric inventor. Educate yourself on these "newfangled" snacks below:
1. No one's sure where the name comes from
Procter & Gamble must've kept terrible records back in the day, because company officials still aren't sure how the chips got their name. One theory claims it comes from Pringle Dr, where two Procter advertising employees supposedly lived. Another theory points to Mark Pringle, an employee credited with research on the Pringles patent. A third implicates Lee Harvey Oswald, as all mysteries eventually must.
2. There was a legal battle over whether they're "chips"
Despite their shape and utter lack of grease, Pringles are considered by most people to be potato chips. Except for Pringles, that is. In a long legal battle that went down in Britain, Procter & Gamble claimed that Pringles were not chips but "savory snacks," since they contain only 42% potato flour. This was mainly because the UK imposes a tax on potato products and Pringles didn't want to pay it, but Britain's fine legal minds deemed the snacks to be chips on a 2009 appeal. Or rather crisps, because they're British and all.
3. The name used to be way clunkier
Pringles' original name was Pringles Newfangled Potato Chips -- or, again, Crisps in England. It was shortened, presumably after Procter noticed only 88-year-old grandpas were into its product.
4. The inventor also developed freeze-dried ice cream
Though the Pringles we know today were a group effort, the man most responsible for their creation is Fredric Baur. The chemist developed Pringles' shape and can in the late '50s at Procter & Gamble. He also worked on a freeze-dried ice cream called Coldsnap, but it didn't catch on quite as well. Probably because it didn't come out of NASA.
5. They bombed at first
Pringles tested great when Procter released the chips in select markets in 1968, but once they went national? They flopped. The taste was off and people just weren't feeling these dramatically different chips. Some execs voted to dump the snack entirely, but things turned around in the '80s after some recipe tweaks and a new ad campaign.
6. Young Brad Pitt starred in a very cheesy commercial for them
The '80s were a much simpler time. No one wore shirts, you had plenty of surfboards to Sharpie over, and it was incredibly easy to con girls out of their Pringles and car. No wonder baby Brad Pitt was having the time of his life.
7. The Pringles man has a name
It's Julius. Use that information as you see fit.
8. There have a bunch of weird international flavors
If you thought Milk Chocolate Pringles were strange, hold onto your butts. Foreign markets carry such delicacies as Garlic Seafood, French Consommé, and Sausage Pringles. Japan also has these "Night Club" chips and, while we don't know what that means, we're going to assume it involves house music.
9. The cans make great speakers
They do require quite a lot of copper wire, magnets, and X-ACTO knife incisions, but they're much cheaper than an iHome.
10. Baur is buried in a Pringles can
When Fredric passed in 2008, his children honored his eccentric final wishes by putting his ashes in a can of original Pringles. They did not, as urban legend maintains, then circulate that can in grocery stores and nefariously encourage cannibalism. C'mon guys. Respect the dead.