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Ballreich Bros plans nationwide distribution of sweet potato chips at Walmart and Dollar General

Potato Chip manufacturer Ballreich Bros. is set to expand its reach nationwide with a new snack line that is being marketed as a healthier alternative to traditional potato chips.

The family-run operation recently signed deals with Walmart and Dollar General to put its all-natural sweet potato chips and potato sticks in nearly 6,000 stores across the county. Ballreich’s chips currently are sold predominantly in Ohio and Michigan.

Though the brand will reach from shore to shore, the Ballreich name won’t. The company has decided to sell the new chips in brandless packaging.

“Once you go outside this area if you’re not familiar with the Ballreich name, you’re not familiar with our chips,” said Haley Thomas, the company’s director of sales and marketing and a member of the family’s fourth generation.

Instead, Ms. Thomas said, the packaging will play up the product’s value, taste, and simplicity. The company said the new products use just potatoes, salt, and cottonseed oil.

Ballreich tested the two new chip styles last fall in 100 California stores. The products are beginning to hit stores now, Ms. Thomas said.

For Ballreich, which has been making potato chips since 1920, the new marketing focus taps into a growing market for all-natural foods and healthier snacks.

The new chips will go into 800 Walmart stores across the country, though at this point officials aren’t sure which Ohio stores will get the chips.

Ms. Thomas said the deal fits into Walmart’s campaign to increase its stock of American-made goods.

Dollar General has committed to putting the chips in 5,000 of its stores.

Ms. Thomas said Ballreich had enough capacity to add the new products at its Tiffin facility, but the company said if successful there could be jobs added in the future.

Ballreich has no plans to do away with its existing product.

“We’re never going to stray from our original marcelled chips,” Ms. Thompson said. “They’ll be around as long as we are.”

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