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Stabroek News

Clash of the chips: Chippies vs St Mary
published: Thursday | September 15, 2005

Keisha Shakespeare, Freelance Writer


Chippies Original Banana Chips has been manufactured by Native Food Packers in Kingston since 1964.

FOLLOWING THE passage of hurricanes Ivan and Dennis, the banana industry faced a massive decrease in production. This led to a reduction in by-products such as banana chips. However, since May, banana and its by-products have been reappearing in supermarkets and markets.

Green bananas and banana chips have been a major part of the Jamaican diet for a long time. And snack time for many could never be the same without banana chips. So with the return of banana chips, the big question is, which of the popular brands of banana chips tastes better.

THE OLD FAVOURITE

Chippies Original Banana Chips rose from its humble beginnings in 1964; it was founded by Adrian Grant. Manufactured by Native Food Packers in Kingston, the product has been distributed across the Jamaica, United States, the Cayman Islands, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Chippies manufactures other products such as plantain chips, cashew, cheese curls, onion bits, peanuts and more. Though Chippies has been around for some time now and has become a firm favourite of many, lately a hot contender, St. Mary's Banana Chips has taken the market by storm.

NEW CHIP ON THE BLOCK

St. Mary's Banana Chips was established in 1999 and the manufacturer is Jamaica Producers Foods (JP Foods) in St. Mary. Before 1999, JP Foods were banana exporters. Bananas that do not meet the required standard for export were discarded so to make use of the rejects, they decided to use them to manufacture banana chips.

Before last September's hurricane, the banana chips were distributed in the United Kingdom and the United States. However, since then they are only distributed in Jamaica.

St. Mary's Banana Chips has been on the market since 1999. But three hurricanes later, the raw material is scarce, so JP Foods made the decision to diversify with products such as plantain, breadfruit, and cassava chips.

The Tasters say:

CHIPPIES VS. ST. MARY'S BANANA CHIPS:

I prefer St. Mary's Banana Chips because Chippies is too hard and moreover the flavour of St. Mary's is better.

I don't like any of them because both are too salty and oily. The St. Mary's does not have a lot in the bag.

St. Mary's is too oily, salty and not much in the bag; don't get your money's worth.

Chippies are the best, they taste better and the chips are larger than St. Mary's.

I don't like Chippies anymore; it is too oily and it does not taste as good anymore.

Chippies has dropped off form; it is too salty and expensive now. And too much air in the bag, you get less.

St. Mary's is too salty and greasy; I prefer Chippies. The only thing, Chippies spoils easily.

Chippies taste better than St. Mary's and it has more body too.

Chippies are not crunchy anymore but I still prefer it to St. Mary's.

Chippies do not taste the same as when I was growing up. I wonder if they have new management.

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