Better Made sign. Photo via Better Made website.

Sometimes, you can’t help it. You’re in the party store or in an aisle at Meijer, and you see it. The yellow bag. The red stripes. And if you’re a Detroiter or a Detroiter at heart, the maid on the cover calls to you like a salty siren, and you must get ahold of what’s inside the bag.

Yes, Better Made potato chips. Whether they’re original, ruffle, BBQ, sour cream and onion, salt and vinegar, rainbow.. there’s something that’s just better made about these beauties.

So here are 10 facts to chomp on while you’re eating your next bag of Better Mades.

1. Chips take just seven minutes to make

The factory on Gratiot transforms a potato into your potato chip in just about seven minutes.

2. The factory handles 60 million pounds of potatoes a year

To give you an idea, an Airbus A380 passenger jet weighs about one million pounds. So is a very large steam locomotive. Now, times that by sixty. That’s A LOT of potatoes.

3. The Rainbow chip is now intentional

Many people would call the Rainbow chip a “burnt” chip, but in fact, nowadays it’s intentional. Better Made works with farmers for a special potato with the right sugar content to give you a darker, “Rainbow” chip whenever you want one as opposed to packaging up the off-color chips grabbed off the line.

4. For years, a founder kept his day job

Even though Cross & Peters, the company behind Better Made, was officially formed in 1930 and became successful, co-founder Peter Cipriano reportedly kept his job as a milkman until 1941.

5. They didn’t believe in debt

Better Made Chips

The original founders set aside 25 percent of their profits every year as a reserve, and bought everything – trucks, equipment, all of it – free and clear.

6. The founders were distantly related Sicilian immigrants 

Terrasini Creative Commons photo by palermo_terrasini_1

Both Peter Cipriano and the Cross Moceri were from Terrasini, Sicily. This was normal for Detroit. By 1925, half of Detroit’s 1,242,044 residents were born outside of the United States.

7. For every 20 pounds of potato chip, it takes 100 pounds of potatoes

That’s because potatoes are 80 percent water. Oh, and they can do 65 bags of chips per minute.

8. In the 1940s, Detroit had more than 20 chip companies

Photo via The Detroit Hub/Unspun

Only Better Made survives from that time.

9. They’ve been in the same spot since 1949

1950s Better Made factory via Better Made Facebook

The factory has been expanded 19 times, investing in Detroit the whole time.

10. The first flavor they introduced was Barbecue

And it’s still their best selling seasoned chip.

Can’t get enough potato chip goodness? Here’s a book. “Better Made In Michigan.” Some of the facts on this post are from it. It is possibly the biggest bag of potato chip history (including Better Made and others as well), but in book form.

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