When a Cookie Company Wanted to Make Chips

When someone brings up the name of Keebler, most of us will think of those old commercials featuring an army of small elves stashed away in a tree making those oh so delicious cookies for all these decades. The company first started back in the 1850s and in that time are a big name in making cookies for all of us to munch on for generations.

But that isn’t the only thing that they have made.

Though they have been bought and sold a few times in the last 50 years and is now currently owned by Kellogg’s (the cereal company) the Keebler brand has done more than just baked cookies in all that time. And it was still delicious and staved off those cases of the munchies many times over the years.

Take for instance Pizzarias Chips. These arrived on our store shelves in the early 90s and were a part of the wave of California Cool surfer culture that was the “it” thing of the day. The advertisements featured Ernie the Elf’s “cool” nephews and then screwing around in the kitchen to promote these entries into the chip market. They were actually very similar to Doritos but were given pizza flavored spices like “Cheese Pizza” and “Supreme”. I couldn’t tell you what those spices really were but they worked.

Unfortunately, the Pizzaria chips only last about a year and seemed to die off when the California Cool culture fad faded away. There have been plenty of other pizza flavored chips since and some could be found today if you looked around hard enough, but nothing beat sitting down back in the day and having a hand full of the pizza spiced chips from those white bags.

Bt this was hardly the first time that Keebler had sold bags of chips to the hungry masses.

A few years before, the company had released chips with a much different flavor called Tato Skins. These chips weren’t just flavored but baked differently. Tato skins were marketed as not just thin slices of potatoes, but also the skins as well!  They were much different than the Lays and other oily chips on the shelves. They were thicker, not nearly as greasy, and had a more potato flavor to it at the base of all it’s flavors like Cheddar and Bacon, Sour Cream and Baked.

And what is surprising is that they never really went away.

Yeah, most people may recognize Tato Skins under the Keebler name, but it is interesting to note these chips were made FOR the Keebler name, but were actually produced by a company out of Indiana. Even when the big yellow bags by the Keebler brand disappeared decades ago, the chips themselves were still being made. Sometimes you’d find the odd bag of Tato Skins in discount stores like Big Lots or whatever, but they still existed. Even now you can find them being sold under the TGIF name in stores with other snacks.

So if you ever get a-hankerin’ for these in reading this article (kind of like how I am in writing it), just skip on down to the grocery store and you can pick up the modern version of these snacks from back in the day.

So if the mental image of tree-living elves makes your stomach rumble for cookies, just remember that those elves have ventured out to bring us some memorable and really tasty snacks as well.


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