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The Pringles Food Pyramid


picture of food pyramid

Many people are careful about what they eat, striving to eat a balanced diet each day. When my dear wife Becka used to teach nutrition, she covered the USDA's Food Pyramid with her students. If you click on the thumbnail picture of the food pyramid on the right, you can see a larger version of it. If you would like to read more about it, you can go to the official USDA site or to another site that has several optional food pyramids.

You may be wondering what all that has to do with Pringles. Let me explain. Our grandson Drew, who just turned 3 on March 9, loves Pringles. I've never been crazy about Pringles, especially if "real potato chips" were available. (My wife and I grew up on Ballreich potato chips in northwestern Ohio, and so we judge all other potato chips by them.)

Recently I ran across a picture online that was a little disturbing — three flavors of Pringles that I had a hard time believing really existed. It started me on some online searching whereby I discovered not only that they do indeed exist, but they are among many other surprising flavors of Pringles — I found over 80 in all! This post is much longer than usual, but it's almost entirely pictures that I think you will enjoy looking at.

picture of Pringles original

The Pringles brand of potato crisps was first sold in the United States in October 1968, originally known as "Pringle's Newfangled Potato Chips." Procter & Gamble chose the "Pringles" name from a Cincinnati telephone book, having been inspired by the street name of Pringle Drive, simply due to "its pleasing sound." According to the patent, Pringles were invented by Alexander Liepa of Montgomery, Ohio, and Gene Wolfe developed the machine that cooks them. Other snack manufacturers objected, saying that Pringles failed to meet the definition of a potato "chip" — Pringles have less than 50% potato content. Pringles eventually opted to rename their product "potato crisps" instead of chips. This led to other issues in the United Kingdom, though, where the term "potato crisp" refers to the product that Americans call "potato chips" and where "chips" are French fries. (Complicated, isn't it?)

Below are pictures of the kinds of Pringles I found online.

I'll start off with a flavor that's not too bizarre.

picture of Pringles

Here are a couple more interesting flavors.

picture of Pringles

The next couple of flavors get us into the vegetable area of the food pyramid.

picture of Pringles

This next one is Italian Bruschetta.

picture of Pringles

Here are two fun flavors — Funky Mustard (left) and Mushroom (right).

picture of Pringles

Here are some with different seasonings.

picture of Pringles

Mexican food is much loved. Here a couple of Mexican flavors.

picture of Pringles

Mexican food is often quite hot/spicy. Here are several Pringles flavors in the hot and spicy department.

picture of Pringles

The second from the left (below) is a little hard to read. It's Smokin' Hot Ranch.

picture of Pringles

The last couple are a little extreme to my tastes. You may have noticed from several of those pictures that Pringles has a line of flavors called "Extreme," some of which don't seem all that "extreme" to me.

picture of Pringles

picture of Pringles

Pringles has a product line called Pringles Select. Here are some of the select flavors.

picture of Pringles

One select flavor that seemed unusual to me was Cinnamon Sweet Potato.

picture of Pringles

The Pringles Select line comes in bags rather than the can. The shapes are different too. Below is a picture of the standard saddle-shape of Pringles on the left versus Pringles Select on the right.

picture of Pringles

Pringles also has a product line called "Cravers." Here are some of those:

picture of Pringles

picture of Pringles

Here are two flavors, one Extreme and one Cravers, that are ... interesting.

picture of Pringles

Here are some other flavors I found on one site. The Spring Onion & Feta sounds intriguing to me.

picture of Pringles

You can see that we could get some of our vegetables and dairy from Pringles. Here's one that sounds like a meal in itself.

picture of Pringles

This one is Pringles Sour Cream Bacon, in case you can't read the words on the package.

picture of Pringles

We're definitely moving forward in the dairy department with these flavors:

picture of Pringles

picture of Pringles

"Taco Night" (mentioned earlier in the post) and "Cheeseburger" (the one on the far right in the picture above) were recalled earlier this month as a safety precaution after salmonella was found in a Basic Food Flavors plant which produces the flavor-enhancing hydrolyzed vegetable protein used in those flavors.

Here's a cheese-based flavor that I have a hard time imagining:

picture of Pringles

I guess Mac 'n Cheese fits into both the dairy and the grain categories. Here's another one that fits two categories — dairy and meat. It's Cheese & Bacon.

picture of Pringles

Let's move now into the meat part of the Pringles Food Pyramid. Here are several from an American Street series of Pringles.

picture of Pringles

If you prefer your meat plain, here are several options.

picture of Pringles

picture of Pringles

Consommé would probably fit best into the meat category, because of its flavor.

picture of Pringles

Here are two flavors that sound, um ... different.

picture of Pringles

Here's an extreme meat flavor.

picture of Pringles

Here are several meat flavors I would never have thought of for potato chip flavors. On the left it's Red Chili Chicken, and on the right it's Smoked Salami.

picture of Pringles

Here are several ethnic meats.

picture of Pringles

picture of Pringles

If your tastes tend more towards gourmet foods, Pringles won't let you down.

picture of Pringles

picture of Pringles

Here are the three flavors that got me started on this post in the first place — Pringles Ocean flavors.

picture of Pringles

If those are too tame for your tastes, here's one with a little more zip:

picture of Pringles

If you'll recall, the base of the USDA food pyramid is grains. There are several types of Pringles in the grain category. I've already mentioned Mac 'n Cheese above. Here are a couple of others:

The first one is spaghetti, which would be a pasta, which is a grain, right?

picture of Pringles

The one on the left below is definitely in the grain category. The one on the right has rice, but it's almost a complete meal with the BBQ spare rib thrown in too.

picture of Pringles

Pringles has a new multigrain line — Truly Original, Cheesy Cheddar, Creamy Ranch. Sorry, but the picture below is the only picture I could find of the new line.

picture of Pringles

If you're concerned about the fat content, Pringles has you covered there too. Here are several from their light line.

picture of Pringles

At least they used "less" correctly on the right — 50% Fewer Calories would have been more pleasing to calorie-conscious grammarians.

Pringles is even branching out into some fruit flavors. Avocados are technically fruits, aren't they?

picture of Pringles

Here are several with Lime flavoring.

picture of Pringles

Lay's seems to have Pringles beat so far in fruit-flavored chips.

picture of Pringles

Loading up on Pringles could definitely "put a tiger in your tank."

picture of Pringles

picture of Pringles pyramid

I realize that for most of these, it's just flavorings and not actual food products. Pringles are not going to bring anyone into conformity with the recommendations of the USDA food pyramid, but they definitely try to appeal to a wide range of tastes by offering something that almost anyone might enjoy.

What kind of Pringles did you find the most disturbing in this post? Was there a kind you'd like to try? What's the weirdest kind you've ever tried? Is there a flavor you'd like to see them offer?

quotation...

"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help." - Ronald Reagan

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Do hungry crows have ravenous appetites?


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19 Comments on “The Pringles Food Pyramid”

  1. #1 John Steel
    on Mar 22nd, 2010 at 6:48 am

    We just finished a can that was plain old cheddar cheese that I do not think I saw on your blog. It is made in the USA but sold in Canada and imported to Grenada apparently from Canada. The label is in French and English with some lines of text that look like Hebrew.

  2. #2 Rob
    on Mar 22nd, 2010 at 6:58 am

    @John – Wow! I spent *hours* on this post, and I missed a flavor like that!? Here ya go! :-D

    picture of Pringles

  3. #3 Kelly
    on Mar 22nd, 2010 at 7:22 am

    You forgot Xtreme Wasabi !!!!

  4. #4 Rob
    on Mar 22nd, 2010 at 7:27 am

    @Kelly – Didn’t forget it — just didn’t run across it on the bazillions of sites I scoured. Here ya go!

    picture of Pringles

  5. #5 Brian
    on Mar 22nd, 2010 at 8:23 am

    You should do a post on how potato chips began which is interesting in its own right.

    Over Christmas I saw a show about snack foods. It highlighted the start of potato chips and several candy bar manufacturers.
    Snickers bars were named after the Mars’ family’s favorite horse.

  6. #6 Jenni
    on Mar 22nd, 2010 at 9:16 am

    It’s interesting that a lot of those are Asian chips! Maybe you could wash them down with Cucumber Pepsi or Fire Pepsi (cinnamon) or Ice Pepsi (mint) Blech! Have seen those, but never tried them.

    I think I’ve had the Pizza Pringles. They weren’t too bad. I’d probably try just about any of the cheese ones except spicy.

    The Ocean flavors sound really gross!

  7. #7 Carrie
    on Mar 22nd, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Oh my!!!!! I love Pringles, but this is scary! I mean, scary. Sour cream and onion have always been my favorite, but if they start carrying spicy guacamole here in Fairbanks, it will be a close contest.

  8. #8 Jonathan
    on Mar 22nd, 2010 at 10:25 am

    I’ve enjoyed the cinnamon sweet potato variety for years.

  9. #9 Jon Bell
    on Mar 22nd, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Rob, this is really quite impressive. Having been married to a Canadian for 17+ years I thought I knew all the flavors since Maritime Canadians are especially noted for bizarre flavors like Ketchup and Dill Pickle. But the variety is staggering! I need to pay more attention in the chip aisle. I would love to try a lot of these!

  10. #10 Eileen
    on Mar 22nd, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Being from Canada, I must say that I really miss Ketchup chips! :) I remember in Nova Scotia there used to be a brand of chips that had a seafood flavor. They were good too (not Pringles though). But wow, I can’t believe some of these flavors. I must say that the meat and fruit flavors do not appeal to me much at all. Interesting that most of the flavors seem to have Asian packaging.

  11. #11 Shannah
    on Mar 22nd, 2010 at 10:48 am

    What about curry? I don’t think you can get it in the US… and actually, I’ve never gotten to taste them, but have always wanted to. I understand your preference for “real” potato chips… especially with a great onion dip… but I must confess that I’ve always loved Pringles. They’re so much fun! There’s no other chip that does “duck bills” like Pringles.

  12. #12 Ruth
    on Mar 22nd, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I actually like Pringle’s a lot. The mozzaralla sticks are my current favorite. I’ve had screaming pickle and spicy buffalo wing. I really don’t see what is so extreme about them. They aren’t that spicy. I’d love to try the sweet potato cinnamon, smokin’ ribs or the swiss cheese. Those sound great!

  13. #13 Kathleen
    on Mar 22nd, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    They have some really interesting flavored crisps in the UK. Pickled onion anyone? They’re actually pretty good (as are pickled onions themselves).

    You can see a few of the more common flavors here:

    http://www.walkers-crisps.co.uk/index2.html#/our-range/walkers-crisps

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCoy%27s_Crisps

  14. #14 Jeremy Patterson
    on Mar 22nd, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    I didn’t actually count, but it appears to me that the majority of the weird flavors are from Japan–which doesn’t surprise me at all! You could eat your oddly flavored Pringles with mayonnaise pizza or burgers with soy sauce. =)

  15. #15 Susan
    on Mar 22nd, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    As others have mentioned, ketchup chips are popular here in Canada (and are available in “real” chips too, not just Pringles!), but my taste buds refuse to cooperate with me on that one. Last summer, I had a cabin of 8-year-old girls at camp, and I bought several cans of Pringles for our last-night-of-camp party. They devoured all three cans within minutes – Pizza, Dill Pickle, and Ketchup – but I didn’t eat any at all. I don’t care to eat those flavors and then try to sleep!

    My husband loves Pringles. His favorite flavor is Cheddar Cheese, followed by BBQ and Loaded Baked Potato.

  16. #16 Jan Wooster
    on Mar 22nd, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    We’re not huge Pringles fans, but one time we bought a can for a trip and found that they had a riddle printed on the top and the answer on the bottom of each chip. I never saw any like that again, but they were entertaining for our trip.

  17. #17 Ellen
    on Mar 22nd, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Too funny! I like Pringles, but some of these are way out there! Sorry, but I think the thing I liked best from this post was your quote from Ronald Reagan. :)

  18. #18 b.j.
    on Mar 23rd, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Looks like the the candy that is a meal from Willie Wonka’s Factory has been replaced by Pringles…

  19. #19 Rob
    on Mar 27th, 2010 at 7:24 am

    @all – It was fun to read your reactions and reminiscences. I just found a picture in another folder on my computer of another kind that didn’t make it into the original post — Chili Cheese. Here it is:

    picture of Pringles

    I also learned that there’s a Pringles Fan group on Facebook with over 3 million fans!


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