Post by Mark
Last week I was lucky enough to visit the Kitco factory. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do since it’s a brand I grew up with plus I’m a huge fan of the show “How it’s made“. Before taking the tour I met with Jassim Al-Wazzan who told me how it all started.
Back in the early 1950’s Jassim Al-Wazzan senior decided to open up a small grocery store at the age of just 15 in the old Kuwaiti souk (now called Souk Al Mubarkia). He had the only Kuwaiti owned grocery store so when the old women used to come to shop, they’d see 15 year old Jassim and feel nationalistic pride. They all started shopping at Jassim’s grocery store and with time his business started to grow.
Around that time, he met an Indian by the name of B.R. Oberoi. They formed a strong friendship and partnered in one of the many grocery stores Jassim Al-Wazzan had acquired by then. One of the stores most popular products was a snack that used to come from Iran called Pufak. Because the item was coming all the way from Iran the item sometimes ran out of stock or the prices fluctuated. So Mr Oberoi went to Jassim and told him they should make their own and so using technology brought from the Dutch, the Kuwait Indo Trading Company (Kitco) was established. Today three generations later the two families still are partners and good friends.
So the big question, how are the Kitco potato chips made? Turns out it’s a very simple process. I took pictures of all the steps so you can check it out below.
– First they get fresh potatoes from various suppliers depending on the season.
– They then place the potatoes in a large machine that washes and peels them. The potatoes are then visually inspected and those that are too big get cut in half by hand.
– Once the potatoes are washed and peeled they are thinly sliced by a machine.
– The thin potato slices then get fried.
– After getting fried the potato chips now take a short journey on the conveyor belt where they cool down and are flavored in a rotating drum.
– Finally the chips enter the final stage where they get bagged and packed.
– And that’s it.
Overall it was a pretty cool experience. Now there are a couple of more brands I’m also interested in checking out but if there is anything you’d be interested to see let me know.