Catering to customers with an elevated food palate, Symphony Chips is transforming the way chip lovers experience flavor.
Created by Dondre Anderson, Symphony Chips began as a line of spices inspired by a signature spice blend Anderson’s father created when he was a chef on the Las Vegas Strip. Word spread quickly about the spice blend, and after experiencing the incredible flavors for himself, Anderson convinced his father to bottle and sell the incredible blend.
However, he soon realized that his approach to selling the spice mix was not market-ready. He learned that customers rarely buy spices they haven’t tried before. So, thinking they would bring the spices straight to the customer’s mouth, Anderson began doing in-store demonstrations so shoppers could try the blend and buy it on the spot.
To showcase the uniqueness of the spice blend, Anderson decided to season the chips and serve them to passing customers. What he discovered was that a lot of people didn’t want the spice at all. But they fell in love with chips.
“We just followed the divine inspiration that was given to us and so we started making chips,” Anderson said.
Bursting with incredible flavor and coated in their proprietary blend of 28 herbs and spices, Symphony Chips was launched in 2017. Anderson spent two years refining the product and brand before rolling out the chips. He had no idea how to run a potato chip business and at that time the resources available to guide him were very limited. After contacting a co-packing company who helped them understand the product development and packaging formula, Anderson began thinking about ways to produce massive amounts of potato chips all at once.
“I’ve only read a few books on entrepreneurship and a few articles, and what I’ve found is that most businesses fail because they can’t keep up with the demand,” he said. -he declares. “So I decided to start with the ideology of building a massive supply chain. So if the business fails, it won’t be because we couldn’t meet the demand.
This approach paid off and Symphony Chips opened its doors online to wholesalers around the world. Unlike most potato chip companies that duplicate the same flavors over and over, Symphony prides itself on creating mouth-watering flavors that are exclusively crafted and delight the consumer’s taste buds.
“We decided that if we were going to be a gourmet fry, we had to cater to a high palate,” he said.
Currently, the brand offers three flavors; Original, balsamic and smoky. A taste inspired by aioli, Symphony’s original flavor challenges the way customers perceive plain flavored crisps. With the original being the most popular potato chip flavor in the United States, Symphony followed with the second and third choices. Their balsamic flavor is the salt and vinegar that adult consumers have come to expect while their smoky flavor mimics the tastiest barbecue fresh off the grill.
“People have already decided, through other companies’ wonderful marketing machine, what these flavors will taste like,” he said. “So when they try ours, it’s always a special moment to see people’s reaction.”
So far, consumer response has been overwhelmingly positive. Shoppers love being able to connect with flavors in a different way than they have in the past, and they’re drawn to Symphony’s use of bold, flavorful spices that bring the crisps to life. Instead of sticking to the two-dimensional flavor formula created by other chip companies, Symphony chose to stand out from the crowd with a distinctive taste that sets them apart from the competition.
“Being a gourmet potato chip brand, we couldn’t offer the same flavors that everyone else was offering,” he said.
Anderson not only thinks it’s important that there is black ownership and representation within the chip industry, but that now is the time for black people around the world to be recognized and recognized for the contributions they brought to American society. Unbeknownst to most, potato chips were actually invented by a black man named George Crump in 1853. Anderson says it’s time for every potato chip company to pay homage to Crump and other black innovators who have paved the way.
“All the major chip companies now owe George Crump a debt of gratitude,” he said. “So for us, it wasn’t so much about creating a potato chip, it was about what was going to differentiate us in the market from everyone else.”
Built on family values and authentic flavor, Symphony Chips continues to grow as more consumers discover the beauty of its products. The brand is also growing as it generates more wholesale opportunities, prepares to relaunch its spice collection and roll out a full line of aioli-inspired flavored chips. The entrepreneurial spirit even trickled down to Anderson’s daughter who reinvented the spice mix to create gourmet baked goods. Embracing innovation and creating a legacy, Symphony Chips is a reliable, fresh face for the industry to experience.
“Being recognized as a black-owned business is definitely important,” he said. “But more than that, it’s the legacy that our company really provides within our family and honoring my father and providing an example for my daughters to say ‘sometimes your dreams are one thing, but if you listen to God, your dreams can become opportunities that then change the world”.
The start of a journey elsewhere, Symphony Chips is the flavor navigator the potato chip industry has been waiting for. With bursts of seasoning in every bite and a heady aroma emanating from every cracked open bag, these crisps are guaranteed to make gourmet snacking a favorite among black millennial consumers.
“Food is a journey,” he said. “Wherever you are, when you taste something, especially for the first time, it should take you somewhere or lift you from where you are to another place.”