Photo Credit: TN
Symphony Chips Brings Gourmet, Fresh Flavor To The Chip Industry
Catering to customers with a heightened food palate, Symphony Chips is transforming the way potato chip lovers experience flavor.
Created by Dondre Anderson, Symphony Chips began as a spice line inspired by a signature spice blend created by Anderson’s father during his time as a chef on the Las Vegas strip. Word spread fast about the spice blend, and after experiencing the incredible flavors for himself, Anderson convinced his dad to bottle and sell the amazing mix.
However, he soon realized his approach to selling the spice blend wasn’t a good fit for the market. He learned customers rarely bought spices they hadn’t tried before. So, thinking they’d bring the spices directly to the customer’s mouths, Anderson begin doing in-store demonstrations so buyers could try the blend and purchase it right on the spot.
To showcase the uniqueness of the spice blend, Anderson decided to season potato chips and serve them to passing customers. What he discovered was that many people didn’t want the spices at all. But they fell in love with the chips.
“We just followed the divine inspiration we had been given and so we started doing potato chips,” Anderson said.
Bursting with incredible flavor and covered with their signature, 28 herbs and spice proprietary blend, Symphony Chips launched in 2017. Anderson spent two years refining the product and brand before rolling out the chips. He had no idea how to run a potato chip company and, at that time, there were very limited resources available to guide him. After connecting with a co-packaging company that helped them understand the formula for product development and packaging, Anderson started brainstorming ways to produce mass amounts of potato chips at one time.
“I’ve read just a couple books on entrepreneurship and a few articles really and what I’ve found is that most businesses fail because they can’t supply the demand,” he said. “So I decided to start it off with the ideology of let’s build out a massive supply chain. That way if the business fails, it won’t be because we couldn’t meet the demand.”
This approach was beneficial and Symphony Chips opened its online doors to wholesalers everywhere. Unlike most potato chip companies that duplicate the same flavors repeatedly, Symphony prides itself on creating mouthwatering flavors that are exclusively made and delight the tastebuds of the consumer.
“We decided that if we were going to be a gourmet chip, we needed to cater to an elevated palate,” he said.
Currently, the brand has three flavors available; Original, Balsamic, and Smoke. An aioli-inspired taste, Symphony’s Original flavor challenges how customers view plain flavored chips. With original being the most popular potato chip flavor in the US, Symphony followed up with the second and third choices. Their Balsamic flavor is the grown-up salt and vinegar chip consumers have been waiting for while their Smoke flavor mimics the tastiest barbecue fresh off the grill.
“People have already made up in their minds, thanks to the wonderful marketing machine at other companies, what these flavors are going to taste like,” he said. “So when they try ours, it’s always a special moment to see people’s reaction.”
Thus far, the consumer response has been overwhelmingly positive. Buyers enjoy being able to connect with flavors in a different way than they have in the past and they are drawn to Symphony’s usage of bold, savory spices that bring the chips to life. Instead of sticking to the two-dimensional flavor formula created by other chip companies, Symphony opted to stand out from the crowd with a distinctive taste that distinguishes them from the competition.
“Being a gourmet potato chip brand, we couldn’t offer the same flavors everybody else offered,” he said.
Anderson believes not only is it important for there to be Black ownership and representation within the potato chip industry but that now is the time for Black people everywhere to be recognized and given credit for the contributions they’ve made to American society. Unbeknownst to most, the potato chip was actually invented by a Black man named George Crump in 1853. Anderson says it’s time every chip company paid homage to Crump and other Black innovators who paved the way.
“All the major chip companies out there now owe a debt of gratitude to George Crump,” he said. “So for us, it wasn’t so much about creating a potato chip, it was about what’s going to differentiate us in the market from everyone else.”
Built on family values and authentic flavor, Symphony Chips continues to grow as more consumers discover the beauty of its products. The brand is also expanding as it generates more wholesale opportunities, prepares to re-launch its spice collection and roll out a full line of aioli-inspired flavored chips. The entrepreneurial spirit has even trickled down to Anderson’s daughter who has reimagined the spice blend to create gourmet pastries. Embracing innovation and creating a legacy, Symphony Chips is a reliable and fresh face that the industry needs to experience.
“Being recognized as a Black-owned company is definitely important,” he said. “But more so, it’s the legacy our company actually provides within our family and paying homage to my father and supplying my daughters with a lead by example to say ‘sometimes your dreams are one thing, but if you listen to God your dreams can become opportunities that then change the world’.”
The beginning of a journey to somewhere else, Symphony Chips is the navigator of flavor the potato chip industry has been waiting for. With bursts of seasonings in every bite and an entrancing aroma wafting from every cracked open bag, these chips are guaranteed to make gourmet snacks a favorite among Black millennial consumers.
“Food is a journey,” he said. “Wherever your background is, when you taste something, especially for the first time, it should take you somewhere or lift you from where you are to another place.”