Kicking Off Sustainably

Kettle Brand Chips developed its national ‘Tailgate Au Naturale’ campaign in an effort to promote sustainable tailgating practices. Food Manufacturing spoke with Julie Dunmire, Brand Director at Kettle Brand to discuss the campaign and tips for manufacturers looking to go green.

Q: What does Kettle Chips do as a whole to promote environmental responsibility?

A: Our commitment includes building the first LEED® Gold certified food processing facility in the U.S; powering our factories with renewable energy, in part from our own solar panels and wind turbines; recycling our used cooking oil into biodiesel; and restoring native wetlands and prairie lands on the property surrounding our two Kettle Brand Potato Chip factories.

Q: What will Kettle Chips be doing during the Tailgating campaign?

A: Kettle Brand is kicking off football season with its national “Tailgate Au Naturale” marketing campaign and sweepstakes. This promotion includes in-market events in Los Angeles, Calif. and Miami, Fla. where fans will find the “Tailgate Au Naturale” tent at the USC vs. Cal game on Saturday, Oct. 16, and the Miami vs. UNC game on Saturday, Oct. 23. Fans at these games can experience tailgating “Au Naturale” first hand, enjoy samples of Kettle Brand Backyard Barbeque Potato Chips and participate in the “How Green Is Your Tailgate” game for prizes. 

Online, an interactive quiz and sweepstakes offers participants coupons to drive in-store purchasing, and chances to win instant prizes and a fully-loaded “Tailgate Au Naturale” Grand Prize package, including a tailgate tent featuring the winner’s favorite college team’s logo, eco barbeque grill, solar powered radio, cooler, eco party ware, Kettle Brand Potato Chips, grocery gift card and more, to create the ultimate green tailgate gathering.  The campaign runs now through Dec. 20, 2010 at

Q: What are a few of the most important tips for tailgaters who want to be more eco-friendly?

A: Kettle Brand teamed with green living expert, author and TV host, Sara Snow, who developed these exclusive tips for the campaign designed to help fans choose good, better or the best options for eco-friendly tailgating.

1. Eats and drinks: Choose natural foods free from things like MSG, high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors. Local and organic foods also provide a benefit to your community and environment.

2. What you’re eating on: Choose items made from post-consumer recycled materials or products with compostable or reusable packaging.

3. Trash talk: Have a trash plan and be responsible about picking up after yourself. An easy-to-use recycling station and a compost system will make it easy for your guests to be green.

4. Fire up a greener grill: If you use a disposable BBQ, make sure it’s recyclable. If you use charcoal, use hardwood lump charcoal and forego lighter fluid in favor of a reusable chimney charcoal starter. Gas is an even better choice, as gas grills are more efficient and less polluting than charcoal. Be sure your propane tank has a trade-in option so you can simply exchange your empty tank for a full one.

5. Doing it green, start to finish: Carpool, bike or take the bus to the tailgate. Avoid driving even one car for a 20-mile drive and you’ll save 20 pounds of CO2. Try using solar energy to power your party. Larger solar power portable outlets will work for MP3 players as well as portable heaters. Reuse any game gear you already have or hit up a neighborhood yard sale or second hand store.

Q: How can food manufacturers reduce their environmental impact?

A: Every situation is different, but the Kettle Brand is built on a commitment to seeking sustainable alternatives wherever possible in our operations including green building and renewable energy.

Q: How does being more eco-friendly benefit food manufacturers?

A: The benefits vary. Some of our choices turn out to be cost-efficient from the start and others are longer-term investments in a sustainable future. Ultimately, what’s good for the environment is good for business, and since our products are made from natural ingredients, it’s important to nurture those resources. 

Of course, after making Kettle Brand Potato Chips for nearly 30 years, we also know that consumers appreciate our commitment to sustainability and we think it’s part of the reason our chips taste so good.

Interview By Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor