1982. What a year. So many milestones to look back on… The first Compact Disc player was sold in Japan. Doctors successfully implanted the first permanent artificial heart. Lil’ Wayne was born.

And, perhaps most important of all for us munchie lovers, a group of friends somewhere along the coastline of Oregon changed the way people have enjoyed potato chips ever since.

That’s right. 1982 was the year the Kettle Brand was born.

Curious to hear more about how the deliciously crunchy snack accoutrement made its way from a van in a small Northwest town to a go-to snacking staple across the country? Read on! Or hey, visit KettleBrand.com/Birthday to enter to win $35K in prizes.

Officially founded by Cameron Healy, the making of the original kettle chip was truly a group effort. Healy and his crew had been traveling along the I-5 freeway through Oregon in a beat-up van, selling natural foods to health food stores along the way. Somewhere en route, the inspiration for the kettle-style chip came to them, and in 1982 that idea became a reality.

But the innovation didn’t stop there. In fact, over the last 3.5 decades since it was born, Kettle Brand has continued do things its own way by giving snackers more reasons to reach for another bag.  

Here are some highlights from their first 35 years that might surprise you:

  • Oh yeah, Kettle Brand chips were almost named Pot Chips. No, not pot as in chronic; pot as in a kettle. The suggestion to go with a more traditional name came from Healy’s family, but we can’t help but wonder how the OG name would play out with munchie connoisseurs today…
  • Move over Salt & Pepa. Kettle Brand took the late 90s chip aisle by storm with the introduction of the Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper flavor. And shoop, shoop ba-doop, to no one’s surprise, it immediately becomes a flavor combo that chip-lovers can’t seem to get enough of.  
  • They did “Do us a Flavor” long before the big guys, asking chip lovers for their wildest chip flavor suggestions before the dawn of social media, which resulted in over 16,000 tasty flavor submissions over the years.
  • Kettle Brand was the first ever Non-GMO Project verified potato chip in 2012, continuing to stick to its natural roots to give you the most deliciously crunchy chip while also making you feel a little less guilty about your solo Netflix and snack sessions (hey, no judgment here).
  • Kettle’s “flavor architects” have been cooking up some seriously delicious innovations in the kitchen (we’re talking flavors like Korean Barbeque and Maple Bacon, people), including the launch of a line of chips cooked in 100% avocado oil and a line of buttery sweet potato chips in 2016.

Clearly, Kettle’s first 35 years have been pretty amazing, and the brand shows no signs of slowing down just yet. In fact, to celebrate its 35th, the brand has decided to hook its fans up with $35,000 worth of prizes this month, all of which are rooted in good friends, fun, and food. Head here to find out more about the five incredible prize packages you could win.