“When the chips are down, be sure they’re Husman’s, Husman’s potato chips!”
People who have long loved the snack at the center of this iconic Cincinnati jingle soon will be unable to heed its cheery call.
The news that the Husman’s Snack Foods Co. brand is being discontinued by its new manufacturer is a blow to the Queen City’s taste buds and pride.
That’s because the Husman’s brand was born more than a century ago in Cincinnati, when a 24-year-old paper bag salesman named Harry Husman founded the Husman Potato Products Co. in 1919 and began making potato chips in his Laurel Street home.
Husman would hoist sacks of spuds to a second-floor kitchen by attaching a rope to the bumper of his car. Then, the potatoes were hand-cut into chips that were fried in big kettles.
That would evolve into a process in which Husman’s chips were mechanically cleaned, peeled, sliced, blown dry and fried to a uniform golden crispness in two to three minutes.
Cheese snacks, pretzels and popcorn eventually would join the potato chips produced under the new name of the Husman’s Snack Foods Co.
The brand’s manufacturer has changed over the years. Utz Quality Foods of Hanover, Pennsylvania, acquired Husman’s in 2019 and now has decided to stop making the brand’s snacks.
An Utz spokesperson said in an email to The Enquirer that before it acquired Husman’s brand, it had been produced in Berlin, Pennsylvania, and sold in Ohio and western Pennsylvania for well over 15 years.
“During that time, the Husman’s brand has been steadily declining in what is an extremely competitive snack food category. After considering retailer feedback and consumer demand, we recently made the difficult decision to discontinue the Husman’s brand,” the spokesperson said.
“Notably, this decision has no impact on our workforce; in fact, we have added positions and plan to add even more as we begin producing new products and introduce other snack brands to our Berlin factory in February 2021.”
The spokesperson said the decision will provide its sales team with more competitive offerings for Cincinnati and nearby markets.
“While we understand the disappointment of Husman’s brand fans, we hope that they will enjoy our many other high-quality snack food brands, such as Snyder of Berlin and Zapp’s snacks,” the spokesperson said.