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June 14, 2022

Herr's names three finalists in search for new Philly-inspired chip flavor

A $10,000 prize awaits the person who submitted the winning concept for the limited-run snack

Food & Drink Chips
Herrs Philly Flavored Chip Courtesy/Herr's

The three finalists in Herr's 'Flavored by Philly' chip contest have been put up to a vote. The (215) Special, Long Hots and Provolone and Wiz Wit flavors are competing for a place on grocery store shelves near you.

The contest to crown the quintessential Philly-flavored potato chip is now down to three finalists.

Herr's, the Chester County-based snack maker, has narrowed down more than 6,200 "Flavored by Philly" ideas that were submitted by chip fans and dreamers in the Delaware Valley. The concepts were reviewed and judged by a panel composed of former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Mike Quick, Star Fusion's celebrity chef Darlene Jones and Herr's CEO Ed Herr.

Without further ado, below are the three surviving chip flavors, including descriptions and their creators, that are now up for a vote to determine a winner. The people's choice will be mass-produced and sold at stores across the Philly region.

(215) Special Sauce: In corner stores across Philly, the most popular condiment request is the delicious mixture of salt, pepper, ketchup and hot sauce. The taste is so good there have even been songs written about it. This bold blend of flavors is truly a special part of the (215)! The (215) Special Sauce chip is the perfect blend of tangy vinegar and savory flavors with a hint of heat. This chip has something special for everyone — just like its namesake, Philadelphia. - Gregory D.

Long Hots with Sharp Provolone: When people think of Philly, they think of hoagies. No hoagie in Philly, especially our beloved roast pork, is complete without sharp provolone and Italian long hots on top. It is a staple in the South Philly community and Italian markets throughout the city. Visitors would be wise to follow along. The Long Hots with Sharp Provolone flavored chip delivers a bold roasted pepper flavor combined with notes of provolone cheese in the background and a mild heat that builds with each chip. The flavors complement each other perfectly — which is one thing everyone in Philly can agree on. - Ryan R.

Wiz Wit: My favorite memories from my childhood involve spending time with my Dad driving in his classic car to find the best cheesesteak spot in Philly. Of course, the food was amazing, but the memories from those weekend pursuits will last forever. This flavored chip is drenched in delicious cheesy onion flavor, with a bit of meat to match the cheesy goodness that oozes out the back of your roll after your first bite. Nothing compares to that taste — just like nothing compares to a Wiz Wit cheesesteak from Philly. - Shannon A.

First impressions here? Long Hots with Sharp Provolone would be the most intriguing and innovative chip of the three. 

Provolone doesn't get the kind of love it deserves in the snack world. Everything is cheddar, cheddar jack, white cheddar, parmesan or a generic orange cheese dust. Emulating the roast pork sandwich with a zippy and sharp flavor brings a level of novelty that will differentiate the new chip from the other classic options and competitors on the shelves. 

The (215) Special Sauce sounds pretty good, but it's right in that polarizing ketchup chip territory that will keep some shoppers away. Sure, it has hot sauce and more seasoning to liven it up, and the name has a nice ring to it. But anyone who gagged on the initial Y2K wave of ketchup chips is going to just go with a safer chip flavor at the store, like BBQ or sour cream and onion.

As for the Wiz Wit, Lay's already did the Philly cheesesteak flavored chip two summers ago. Shannon's nostalgia notwithstanding, this is not exactly groundbreaking in the chip world. Herr's got 6,200 ideas and probably knew that if this one wins the vote, it'll at least sell on name recognition alone.

We've requested Herr's full list of submissions to see what kind of insanity people devised for this contest. If the company releases the documents, you'll be the first to know.

“For over 76 years, my family has been providing Philadelphia snacks made from the finest ingredients and bursting with flavor,” said Ed Herr. “With our new Flavored by Philly flavor finalists, we are excited that the City of Brotherly Love can now enjoy an iconic Philly flavor on their favorite hometown chip.”

In 2018, Utz released a popular Italian Hoagie-flavored chip for the Philadelphia market, which was followed the next year by a rival Italian Hoagie chip from Primo Hoagies. Both companies sent large quantities of these chips to our office and they were devoured within a couple of weeks.

Voting in the Herr's contest will be open through Aug. 5. The person who submitted the winning flavor will receive a $10,000 prize, a year's supply of Herr's products and a $10,000 donation to a chosen Philadelphia-based nonprofit. Choose wisely, Philadelphia.