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Chippie's - Jamaican ole time fave

Published:Wednesday | August 16, 2017 | 12:00 AMMikala Johnson

Chippie's banana Chips is an 'ole time' favourite in most Jamaican households. "Don't say chips ... say chippie's Banana Chips" was the catchy jingle published in The daily Gleaner back in June of 1967, and this became the mantra many Jamaicans lived by, especially those who grew up on the snack.

Banana chips is among Jamaicans' favourite snack. they are made by cutting green bananas into thin strips, deep-frying them, and adding salt to taste.

Adrian Grant became a pioneer in commercialising this delicacy in Jamaica, when he created Native Food Packers. It was an instant success, and the product has maintained its popularity in the marketplace in spite of competitors who came into the business much later.

This product has proven itself to be among the best on the local market since 1964 and is easily identified with Jamaicans both local and overseas. Just ask any distributor, and they'll tell you how fast the widely craved chippie's snack disappears off shelves.




Owner and operator of Nardo's kiosk at the University of the West Indies, Mona, campus, Ricardo 'Nardo' Currie, says Chippie's Banana Chips is among the fastest-selling items on campus.

"A small bag a chippie's Banana Chips has in 78 packs and a big bag has about 30, and within a day, a pack of each will sell off," he said.

Currie says that he has seen diehard lovers of chippie's buy several packs of the snacks as soon as they become available.

"I have this one customer who always purchase like two dozen a the small one, which is for $70 each, and nine to 10 a the big ones, which is for $220," said Currie.

Barbara Grant of Native Food Packers says because the market is deprived at times of chippie's Banana Chips, people tends to get them in droves when they become available.

Getting your hands on chippie's Banana Chips can be quite an undertaking. Currie stated that even though he tries his best to have the snack available at his shop, it's no easy task.

"It hard fi get, man. Only [Washington] Boulevard, or downtown [Kingston] mi can get it, and sometimes when you go fi buy it, Mr Chin a married the Chippie's wid some cheese trix weh nah sell," Currie told Food.

According to Grant, the company tries to provide adequate supply of the much-loved snack for its customers. She, however, explained that "sometimes green bananas are not available, and so we are not able to provide enough".




Despite it being a kind of delicacy, many Jamaicans just can't do without it.

"Chippie's is a brand by itself.

It is the best-tasting banana chips

in the world and everybody loves it," said Currie.

Among the request for Jamaican favourites like potato pudding, roast breadfruit, and bammy, Jamaicans in the diaspora almost always ask for Chippie's.

"Carry some bag a Chippie's fi mi" is a phrase you will hear from Jamaicans living abroad.

"To how chippie's brand big, all when people a travel mi affi get chippie's for them to carry up," said Currie.

The snack is even more scarce abroad than it is here, but Grant says the company tries to ensure that persons in the diaspora get a chance to enjoy the snack.

"Like in Jamaica, there are times when there is a shortage of the snack [abroad], but we do supply a percentage of the product to the export market."

One pack of this goodie is just not enough.

Tannia Richards was given the name 'Banana Chips' while growing up because of her unconditional love for chippie's Banana Chips.

"I love the realness of chippie's. It's fresh and just not as oily as others," Richards told Food.

But what makes chippie's Banana Chips so special?

"We have been on the market for over 50 years, and our banana chips is always seasoned with love," Grant stated.

The chippie's brand has become a name synonymous with good taste and quality in Jamaica. Grant shares that it is a great feeling to create a product that is loved and sought after by Jamaicans.

"The company has grown from strength to strength, and we appreciate the support from our customers over the years," Grant said.