The Brand Most Likely Behind Aldi's Clancy's Potato Chips

Aldi offers shoppers amazing deals on the products they love thanks to the chain's insistence on featuring private-label brands. Accordingly, fans of the affordable grocery store are constantly trying to figure out which companies are responsible for their favorite items — including Clancy's potato chips. While there's no official statement on the matter, rumor has it that these beloved chips are made by Barrel O' Fun.

Barrel O' Fun is a snack manufacturer based in Perham, Minnesota offering potato chips, tortilla chips, cheese puffs, and gourmet popcorn. Along with selling to retail chains directly, the brand also provides products to private label customers, aka third parties who sell items manufactured and packaged by another company under its own label. As illustrated by the Barrel O' Fun website, the brand features a variety of chip flavors like barbecue, cheddar, and sour cream. While the link between Aldi's Clancy chips and Barrel O' Fun has not been proven, there's no denying Barrel O' Fun's association with another snack manufacturer.

The snacking equivalent of a nesting doll

The mystery of Aldi's Clancy's chips gets even deeper when you consider that Barrel O' Fun snacks are actually manufactured by a company called Old Dutch Foods. Per the website, Barrel O' Fun snack foods are one of a few Old Dutch brands, which also include Humpty Dumpty. The company also makes its own brand of chips under the Old Dutch banner.

There isn't a lot of information regarding Old Dutch Foods online, but according to the company's Facebook page, it's based in Roseville, Minnesota. Prior to Old Dutch, the Barrel O' Fun brand was actually under the ownership of Shearer's, according to the Perham Focus. Shearer's is yet another private-label supplier of products and claims to have sold off Barrel O' Fun in order to focus exclusively on that arm of the business. The sale involved a partner of Old Dutch Foods known as UR Brands. While tracing the line of Old Dutch snacks back to Clancy's chips is more than a bit confusing, there's a very good reason Aldi is such a fan of private labels.

Why does Aldi focus on private-label goods?

Supermarket News illustrates just how dedicated Aldi is to its private-label line of goods. When it comes to the store, 77.5% of its sales are generated from private-label products. Additionally, 90% of the items carried by Aldi are considered private label.

Aldi has a very good reason for favoring private-label brands according to the FAQ page on its website. Brand-name products often entail additional costs to cover expenses related to marketing, which can increase the prices of products exponentially. On the other hand, private-label goods don't have such costs associated with them, which means they offer the same quality but without steep prices. And Aldi is diligent about selecting quality products to join its private label. According to the grocery chain, one out of three private-label goods it carries has won awards. And the chain is so confident in its products that it offers a return policy that unsatisfied shoppers are able to not only receive their money back, but also go home with a free replacement for the product. Hopefully Clancy's doesn't end up in the return pile.