December 6, 2016

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Deep River Snacks

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A lot of things have been turned into gourmet food – but Potato Chips?

Coming up, a man whose potato chips are sold in high-end delis around the world.

Jim Goldberg’s father was a rack jobber – a distributor who stocks shelves in stores. And as a kid, Goldberg tagged along with him, delivering everything from shoe polish to pet food to potato chips

He’s been in and out of the food business ever since. Working for such giants as Campbells Soup. But back in 2001 he got an audacious idea – healthy snack food.

“There’s nothing wrong with snacking, in moderation,” he says, “but maybe we can make it a little healthier.”

He saw a huge gap between tortilla chips that taste great, but are loaded with chemicals, and chips that were healthy but tasted like cardboard. So he created something no one thought was possible. Snacks that are healthy and taste fantastic.  In fact, unique flavors are his competitive advantage.

His company is called Deep River Snacks, and the chips he creates have flavors that are getting all kinds of raves.

Exotic flavors like Sweet Maui Onion, Asian Sweet and Spicy, Cracked pepper and Sea Salt, Rosemary and Olive Oil, and Zesty Jalapeno. The latter took some doing. His first versions were so hot people were coughing. But once he got the flavor just right they were – well — golden.

Today Deep River makes lines of Kettle chips, potato chips, baked fries and popcorn. And if you can’t decide on any one flavor, they’ll send you a variety pack.

What’s the secret to the flavor picks? Well you could say Yale has something to do with it.

Goldberg’s wife works at the Yale-New Haven Hospital, and the Goldberg’s have enlisted scores of “hungry doctors and nurses” to evaluate potential flavors.

Goldberg is pernickety. He supervises all flavor experimentation – some take as long as two years. And if you’re persnickety, you’ll like how Deep River covers all the bases, producing flavor-bursting snack foods that are all natural, gluten free, with no trans-fats or genetically modified material. On top of that they’re Kosher!

Kosher? So no bacon flavor!

Nope, but Goldberg says he’s been tempted.

Finally – Goldberg is committed to Made in the USA. Deep Rivers website claims, “Everything from ingredients & packaging, to our t-shirts that we give away, are always made in the USA.”

What’s not to love??

So what’s it like going up against giants like Frito Lay? Well Goldberg’s little 20 person company has found the sweet spot. Its products seem to fly off the shelves.

After ten years in the business recent sales reached $7 million dollars.

And Deep River not only makes, it gives back. The snack food’s charity program is called “We Give a Chip!” And it’s supported Leukemia, Cancer, Alzheimer’s, colitis and autism causes with promotions, photo contests and races – including – you guessed it. Potato sack races.

Jim Goldberg exemplifies an axiom featured on our website: Think Niche Within a Niche. He made “healthy products with unique flavors” a competitive advantage for his snack food company.

Now Why Didn’t I Think of That?

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