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You can't stop eating 'em

image from http://www.boogaj.com/.a/6a00d83451ce9f69e201bb0815993f970d-pi

South Side Weekly has a nice remembrance of Jays Foods, longtime Chicago purveyor of potato chips. The Jays jumbo box (with two chip bags inside) was a staple of my family home - the box was so big that it didn't fit on any of the pantry shelves, but instead sat in the vertical space to the side, on top of the box that held the extra leaf for our kitchen table. And until I read this article, I had forgotten about the Jays pencil that was included in every box in the fall, when school started again. I'd love to find some of those at a garage sale sometime.

Interesting thing about the company's slogan, "You can't stop eating 'em": during the late 1990s, after discovering a Jays faded ad in the city, I contacted the company and traded some emails with the office manager. Curious about the slogan and its similarity to the "Can't eat just one" used by their rival Lay's, I asked her which came first. She replied almost immediately, saying she asked Leonard Japp - sitting right at the next desk, still at work in his nineties - and he testily answered that the Jays slogan was first. She said he had always resented a giant company like Frito-Lay for essentially stealing the idea.

The Jays brand still exists, but it is now owned by Snyder's of Hanover, and Jays products are no longer manufactured here.

April 3, 2015 in Chicago Observations | Permalink


And the big, old school box still exists!

Posted by: beth at Apr 4, 2015 3:01:30 PM

Well, that's something, though not quite the aroma of potato chips being cooked.

Posted by: Pete at Apr 5, 2015 7:43:07 PM