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Utz discontinues Husman's snack line, a Cincinnati favorite for more than a century

Husmans potato chips
Posted at 9:45 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 21:45:46-05

CINCINNATI — Utz Quality Foods will discontinue its Husman's snack line, beloved by Cincinnatians for more than a century, the company confirmed to WCPO Friday night.

"After considering retailer feedback and consumer demand, we recently made the difficult decision to discontinue the Husman’s brand," an Utz spokesperson said.

Harry Husman started the Cincinnati potato chip company in 1919, according to the company's website. Seeing a need from customers and grocery stores alike for a fresh supply of potato chips, the 24-year-old Husman started his first plant on 414 Laurel St.

"Harry used a pulley and rope to haul bags of potatoes up through the window and into his 'Sunlit Kitchen.' As the company grew and expanded into more and larger plants, the technology evolved," read a history of the Husman's company.

In 1937, Husman’s installed an automatic potato chip fryer, which could produce 800 pounds of chips an hour. The company's first semiautomatic packaging machines arrived in 1949, and a second automatic fryer was installed in 1958 to produce a total 1,600 pounds an hour across four packaging lines, according to Utz.

Utz acquired the Snyder of Berlin and Husman’s brands from Conagra in 2019, and for more than 15 years, Husman’s snacks has been produced in Berlin, Pennsylvania and sold in Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.

In that time, the Husman’s brand has been "steadily declining in what is an extremely competitive snack food category," according to an Utz spokesperson.

The decision will have no impact on the company's workforce, and Utz has added positions as they begin to produce new products and introduce other snack brands to its Berlin factory in February.

"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.