STILL CRUNCH AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

SAN FRANCISCO -- Turning 150 years old this year is the potato chip, and members of the Alexandria, Va.-based Snack Food Association aren't letting the milestone go unnoticed.During the chairman's gala at the SNAXPO convention tomorrow night at the Marriott hotel here, a salute to the chip will include a video presentation of the Top 10 inventions of the second half of the 19th century, according

SAN FRANCISCO -- Turning 150 years old this year is the potato chip, and members of the Alexandria, Va.-based Snack Food Association aren't letting the milestone go unnoticed.

During the chairman's gala at the SNAXPO convention tomorrow night at the Marriott hotel here, a salute to the chip will include a video presentation of the Top 10 inventions of the second half of the 19th century, according to Ann Przybyla Wilkes, vice president of communications for the SFA.

The SFA will also feature recipes at its service booths on the show floor, and representatives will be on hand to counsel members on what they can do locally to promote the birth of the chip by, for example, getting local radio stations to join in the celebration.

"A lot of things come and go -- potato chips have been around for 150 years," said Przybyla Wilkes.

"It's an American icon. It was invented in America and has been part of our culture for a long time and it has staying power. A lot of our other snacks are imported but, these, we've exported all over the world."

Potato chips are particularly popular with consumers during four peak periods per year -- New Year's Eve, Super Bowl weekend, Memorial Day and Fourth of July, she said.

"Can you imagine a Fourth of July picnic without chips?" Przybyla Wilkes questioned.