Corn, potatoes combine in new Tortatos chips

by Jeff Gelski
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SAN JOSE, CALIF. — Made from white corn and red potatoes, new Tortatos offer the crunch of a tortilla chip and the finish of a potato chip, said Genelle Chetcuti, director of marketing for RW Garcia. The company launched the half tortilla chip, half potato chip at National Products Expo East Sept. 26-28 in Baltimore. Nationwide distribution should begin in January, Ms. Chetcuti said.

The chips have 25% less fat than conventional potato chips since corn does not require as much oil as potatoes and because the company uses red potatoes, which have less starch than other potatoes such as russets, Ms. Chetcuti said. San Jose-based RW Garcia, which primarily has worked with tortilla chips, had to find the right amount of potato to use in Tortatos.

“Too much potato and the chip becomes really oily,” Ms. Chetcuti said. “Not enough potato and you don’t get the flavor.”

Tortatos come in the four flavor varieties of original, salt and pepper, salt and vinegar, and barbecue. The seasonings are more in line with those used in potato chips, Ms. Chetcuti said. White corn and red potatoes both have an inherent sweetness that adds to the flavor of the chips, she said.

RW Garcia is working on media plans for the new chips. The company, which sells product in both natural retail stores and conventional retail stores, often uses in-store marketing, demonstrations and displays, Ms. Chetcuti said. The company uses social networking channels as well. Tortatos have a suggested manufacturer’s retail price of $3.49 for a 6-oz bag. They are gluten-free, contain no additives or preservatives and are Non-G.M.O. Project verified.

Family-owned RW Garcia, founded in 1982, makes organic and natural corn-based snacks. The company operates manufacturing facilities in San Jose and in North Carolina. RW Garcia products are sold in North America, Europe and Australia. Initially Tortatos will be available in the United States, Ms. Chetcuti said.
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