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THEY FINALLY DID IT ... FAT FREE POTATO CHIPS!

 CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- A tasty solution to the fat laden potato chip is at hand. A fat free potato chip has been introduced by Synergy Systems Corporation of Charlotte, N.C. In development for more than five years, the Childers Fat Free Chip represents the first fat free potato chip to hit the national market. This introduction represents the first potato chip to offer substantial reductions in both fat and calories. The product is being introduced through health and gourmet stores throughout the country and should be available in many supermarkets by the end of the year.
 "Fortune Magazine" featured the Childers Potato Chip in their "new products to watch" section and several other publications have also given rave reviews. "They're the best thing that's happened to potato chips since they started putting them in cans," says "Business Journal" reporter Kathleen Coleman.
 Dr. M.D. Childers, chief executive officer and founder of Synergy Systems, developed Childers Fat Free Chips based on a recipe that had been in his family for more than 40 years. Dr. Childers' Aunt Lela cooked thin slices of potato on top of a black top stove starting back in the early 1940's. By allowing the chip to cook in its own juices instead of oil, the taste of the potato stayed in the chip. The memory of these naturally fat free chips stayed with Dr. Childers and in 1987 he began to experiment with duplicating his aunt's recipe. After experimenting with several different processes including drying and microwaving, Childers determined that the only way to maintain the flavor of the potato in the chip was to toast the chip under pressure. In 1990, a patent was issued to Childers for the pressure cooked process used to make the chips on a mass production basis.
 Lightly salted and salt free flavors are available in the 100 percent fat free chip. Lightly salted, barbeque, onion & chive, as well as salt & vinegar flavors are currently available in a 97 percent fat free version. A light spray of oil was added to these flavors to help duplicate the taste of a regular potato chip. "People think oil makes the chip taste better, but the fact is that oil makes the chip feel better in the mouth. We have duplicated the mouth feel without soaking the chip in oil," says Dr. Childers.
 According to Chris Burton, president of Synergy Systems, the Childers Chip has become the standard for the healthy snack food industry because of its excellent taste and nutritional characteristics. "Our only problem is that we can't make the chips fast enough, but it's a problem we certainly don't mind dealing with," says Burton.
 Consumer taste tests of the product revealed a very high acceptance rate among individuals concerned about their health, diet and weight. With a taste very similar to a baked potato, the chip has also demonstrated a high success rate in winning regular potato chip consumers over to a much healthier alternative. Consumers who had given up on potato chips due to the high fat content also expressed a high interest level based on test market data.
 Around-the-clock production has been necessary to keep up with demand. Additional production capacity is expected to be available by April of this year. Childers Chips are available in more than 2,500 health and gourmet food stores in 46 states and Canada. Major distributors such as Tree of Life, Stow Mills, Haddon House, HFI, Nature's Best and Cornucopia, as well as several other regional distributors are wholesaling the chips. The company also sells the chips directly to the consumers via an "800" number and UPS, but this service is only available to areas where the chips aren't readily available through retail outlets.
 Childers Fat Free Potato Chips represents a significant breakthrough in the salted snack food industry because Childers Chips are the first fat free potato chips on the market. Other major manufacturers of chips have introduced
"lower" fat chips, but the reductions were only marginal. Most "light" chips still contain seven to ten grams of fat per ounce, which is equal to about 40 percent oil by weight. This high fat content in regular chips means that a one ounce serving would use up 30 percent of the dai for labeling will make Childers Fat Free Potato Chips the only truly "light" potato chip in the market.
 In 1991, sales of potato chips topped $4.3 billion in the United States making them by far the most popular salted snack food item. Childers Chips are initially looking to capture a half percent to one percent share of this market which would be equal to approximately $20 to $40 million in sales. In addition to this market there are the individuals that gave up eating potato chips because of health concerns. The health conscious market is growing rapidly and will be the target for Childers Chips over the next 12 months,
 -0- 1/25/93
 EDITOR'S NOTE: For photo transparencies, chip samples or more information, call the number below.
 /CONTACT: Chris Burton or Robbie Hood, Synergy Systems Corporation, 1-800-322-4632/


CO: Synergy Systems Corporation ST: North Carolina IN: FOD HEA SU: PDT

CM -- CHFNS1 -- 8219 01/25/93 07:32 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 25, 1993
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