After our little morning run in Chicago Friday morning, a bunch of bloggers that got into town early set off on a tour of the Frito Lay Factory in Beloit, Wisconsin.
We had a bit of a bus ride, which turned into a little bit longer time in the bus than expected, but after a while we ended up in Wisconsin!
On the bus ride there we got to try some brand new Lay’s – Garden Tomato & Basil and Tangy Carolina BBQ! They were yummy!
I was entertained on the bus ride by my roomies for the weekend – Beck and Melissa! I met Melissa when I was in Massachusetts for the Boston Blogger Bash when we decided to be roomies for the HLS! I then got to meet her cousin Beck who is awesome too!
After a while we ended up in Beloit, Wisconsin at the Frito Lay Plant! I was excited to set foot in another state I have never been to before – I can now cross both Illinois and Wisconsin off my list!
We entered and were given a name badge and divided into different groups since only a certain number of people were allowed on the floor in the factory at a time.
I was excited to find a cardboard cut out of Chester the Cheetos mascot!
I was excited to be greeted with a beautiful lunch spread when we arrived! I worked up an appetite sitting on the bus all morning!
There was a big selection of fruit and wraps
And a pretty big salad bar spread too!
And of course I always save room for dessert!
The decor was fun too!
Before exploring the factory we were given a presentation by those in charge of the plant. I was fun to learn a little bit more about the plant ( its 37 years old!) and exactly what it makes there in house (Lay’s, Ruffles, Cheetos, Friotos, Doritos and Tostitos!)
The plant produces 140 million pounds annually, which is about 600 million bags of chips, and it services 10 states directly.
I was pleased to learn that 85% of the potatoes used are planted and farmed in Central Wisconsin.
The potato shown in the picture below was dug up from the ground 4 hours before the picture was taken and driven directly to the plant that morning to make chips! I thought that was really neat!
We were also told about the White Chips Bags, which hold ‘Perfect Potato Chips.’ These bags are made every few hours to ensure the chips bring created are perfect in size, shape, texture and taste.
We were lucky enough to taste some ourselves later in the tour!
After learning about the plant, it was time to tour the factory. This meant it was time for us to get sexy – Hairnets, Earplugs and Goggles, Oh My! Ashley and I were looking good.
We had to then walk through an ‘air bath’ of sorts to make sure anything on us was blown off as to not be out on the open floor, which could get into the product which would then be served to the consumer. It was all very efficient!
Then it was time to check out the factory!
I was really excited to see how everything worked and what happens behind the scenes of how a chip comes to be!
We had a great tour guide and got to see lots of fun stuff. The workers in the plant were all friendly, smiling and happy to see us. There were little stations set up all throughout the facility for us to meet with different people and learn something.
Frito Lay did a wonderful job with the tour!
We got to see how the different corn chips come to be starting with checking out the corn on the assembly line
It gets mashed up and then cut into different shapes depending on the chips being made!
We then saw potatoes flying out of the peeler and washed again.
It’s almost time for these little guys to become a chip!
Potatoes = Potato Chip!
My favorite part of the tour was getting to taste some of the chips right off the assembly line! They were event still hot!
I was in chip heaven!
Side Note – I am thinking of attempting to make the hairnet look part of my signature style not. Don’t even bother trying to tell me it doesn’t look awesome because I know you would be lying!
After that we got to check out the Cheetos line…
And we can’t forget about the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos either!
We even got a sneak peak at the Fritos line too!
It was really interesting to see how things work and watching the chips and snacks come to be!
Another Side Note – Chester and I are in love.
Some Frito Lay Fun Facts:
What are your thoughts on the Frito Lay brand?
I know potato chips aren’t the best snack to have everyday, but with a healthy balance this tour may have broadened my thoughts on what to look for when I am craving chips! I would love to hear your thoughts too !