The average American eats around four pounds of potato chips per year; Detroiters consume an average of seven. It’s a statistic that the Cipriano family has been a part of shaping since founding Better Made Snack Foods, now a Detroit staple, back in 1930. “At the time, the potato chip was a new snack food that was taking the country over,” said Salvatore Cipriano, CEO of Better Made Snack Foods, whose father started the company.
Better Made Snack Foods has come a long way since then. Today, the company processes over 50 million pounds of potatoes each year — and makes tens of thousands of potato chip bags per day during its busiest times.
Once declared the potato chip capital of the world, Detroit was home to 22 potato chip companies at one point. Better Made Snack Foods is the only remaining potato chip maker in Detroit from that era.
What sets Better Made potato chips apart from the rest? Cipriano credits the company’s proximity to what he believes are the best tasting potatoes in the country. “[Michigan] potatoes have a [better] consistency, they’re a heartier potato,” he explained. Consistency is also key to the Better Made potato chip recipe.
But for Cipriano, it’s not the company’s volume or footprint that defines success. “I don’t want to be known as the biggest company in the world, other people can go that way. I want to make the best product we can and do the best service we can,” he said.