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Blue and White Potato Chips Startup at Ag Progress Days

Posted: August 17, 2015

Two Penn State students will showcase Blue and White Potato Chips -- their new product that marries Americans' favorite snack food with their love of collegiate sports -- this week at Ag Progress Days.
Benjamin Nason and Deanna Spaniel

Benjamin Nason and Deanna Spaniel

Deanna Spaniel, a junior Ag Business major, and Benjamin Nason, a senior horticulture major, are using Purple Majesty potatoes grown in New York to achieve the natural blue color in their colorful potato chips.

They have found potato varieties that will allow them to produce and market potato chips in every combination of school colors except green, without any artificial dyes.

Spaniel and Nason plan to sell the chips starting at the Penn State Creamery this fall in time for the first Penn State home football game.

At Ag Progress Days this week, they'll be talking about their chips and about their experiences as entrepreneurs and innovators. Look for them in the Harrington building, near the entrance to the corn maze.

When E&I Coordinator Mark Gagnon learned Spaniel had earned four associates degrees before attending Penn State he asked her if she'd be interested in reviving an idea to create potato chips in school colors. Spaniel earned degrees in restaurant management, culinary arts, baking and pastry and as a dietetic technician, plus has owned a restaurant.

"I climbed on board and started working on it," says Spaniel.

To learn more about potatoes, she turned to William Lamont, professor of vegetable crops and through Lamont met partner Ben Nason.

"As the product developed and we learned more about entrepreneurship and starting a business and talked to more professors, we worked out the details," says Spaniel.

Now, the pair are putting the finishing touches on their flavors and packaging for a first round of production -- just in time for football season.

Check out the Blue and White Potato Chips at this week's Ag Progress Days!

Coming soon to your next tailgate: Blue and White Potato Chips. Blue and White Potato Chips achieve their color using a naturally blue potato.