The Story of Kitco and How it’s Made

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.

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54 comments, add your own...

  1. Mathai says:

    Hey dude wheres the trademark KITCO rings? I wanna see how they’re made coz that’s what I grew up on! :D

  2. Burhan says:

    I had visited Kitco, a Kuwait Biscuit Factory and ABC juice Factory when i was in School ! :D its was a pretty cool experience… i still remember a guy in Biscuit Factory handed my a Uncooked biscuit which was yellowish/white color and told me bake it in your home at some degree. ahh really nice memory’s i had in school there…

  3. Ahmad says:

    That’s a great post!

    I discovered the Kitco brand chips relatively recently and they’re currently my favorite brand. They’re not as salty as the american brands and they taste great. I just wish they’d make ones with a bigger cuts!

  4. ZeroSystem says:

    I always wondered why did they change the rabbit.
    I liked the old one really :p

  5. spydistrict says:

    I visited this factory back in ’01. The folks still got that cool, multi-coloured beetle at the gate?

  6. Othman says:

    Great post!

  7. Marcopolo says:

    I grew up with Kitco Pufak which cost 20-30 fils and a 50 fils sunkist with a small chocolate bar, total 100 fils, bring back the 80s.

  8. Abdou says:

    Correction – kitco is Kuwait indo trading co and not Kuwait indo co

  9. Phil says:

    I live in Doha and I always look out for kitco. too bad I havent found the 50 fils sunkist yet.

  10. Just says:

    Great post ! you should do more of this.

  11. Chai Al Wazzah says:

    As a kid growing up in the Kuwait of the 80s, KITCO was no great shakes for me although everyone around me was literally nuts about it. I was more of a Vimto, Shani and Tang person only.
    You wouldn’t now know if Mr. Oberoi is from the same family as the Indian hotelier tycoon, Mohan Singh Oberoi, wouldjew?
    It would be interesting to also cover the trials and tribulations of other business houses in Kuwait starting with the India born Jashanmals, the Al Shayas, the Beidouns, the Habchi & Chalhoubs and the Alghanims. Will be a fun exercise, Mark!

  12. PS says:

    Mark i got more information omg when i was 15 i only cared about video games

  13. Dougmacho says:


  14. Marron Glace says:

    That was nice knowing about factories and how stuff are made
    Thanks Mark

  15. ? says:

    They should bring back Hotdog flavored kitco ;(

  16. Keith says:

    Hey Mark, my first job in Kuwait was with Mickey Chips. I had a great time working for them, the pay was sad, but we had access to all the chips and snacks we could eat.

    Does anybody know or remember a product called ‘Heart Breakers’ and ‘Funny Faces’.

    • Mark says:

      Of course! Funny faces was one of my favorite chips as a kid

    • Mathai says:

      @Keith: why isn’t their website working? Mickysnax right? I found the URL on the funny faces packet but it doesn’t work.

      • Keith says:

        No idea mate, I left the company years back. I believe the company was either sold or taken over by the banks. However I am glad whoever took it over, continued with both the products. Theses were the best selling of the lot.

  17. Roxanne says:

    Hi! I am a teacher. Is there a number or contact person I could communicate with? I would like to bring some students for a field trip, if they would allow it.

  18. Neoark25 says:

    When you said a kitko factory, I imagined Chocolate Factory movie experience..

    oh well.. kitko rings rocks!

  19. A says:

    i have been to AlMutaheda chicken’s factory , and ever since i havent eaten chicken or eggs :P EWW

  20. vampire says:

    كتكو ناااااايس.. بطاطا طاطا شبس

  21. Kuwait says:

    Does any of you remember the blue potato stix chips (always used to finish first when you bought the large pack of assorted chips) that had a gift inside the pack? It used to be a sticker with those rotating eyes.

    Man… fun times.

    • abdou says:

      Yes, I remember those ones. The small shiny blue potato sticks packet flavored with tomato…the small sticker with the moving eyes. I used to love it simply for the sticker.

      Also, captain Majid, suntop stickers…those days when cartoons would start at 6 pm.

      Does anyone remember those two Kuwaiti anchors who read the programmes and news before they did the shift to english with Najwa Asran and Adeeb?

      The one kuwaiti guy was tall like a banana and the other one was short and stocky like an orange.

  22. Abdulla says:

    قـلبي يقول … كـتكـو و بـس

  23. Talal says:

    I hope this partnership to continue and grow to hit the world market!!

  24. Roxanne says:

    Where is the factory of KITCO located?

  25. esz says:

    Thank you Mark for pointing out the show “How It’s Made”. I’m downloading all the 18 seasons now :)

    Need to educate myself from time to time :)

  26. AAA says:

    You should check out the Alkazemi chocolate factory, they supply stuff to starbucks and caribouu. They are one of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the Gulf region

  27. نورة says:

    الله كتكووووو حبيبي ابي طريقة الرينقز ويريت يوصل لاسترالياااااا

  28. Lovepreet Sharma says:

    i wanna know how kurkure are made.

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