26 April 2014

[pdx] Juanita vs. Josefina: A New Chip Tries To Block Off The Old Chip

Josefina is out to get Juanita.

This could get ugly … but we hope not.

In this corner, Juanita's yummy-a$$ tortilla chips … an Oregon original, made in Oregon, by Oregonians of Latino descent. Hood River produces more than apples, beer, spirits, windsurfers, and charming train rides.

In this corner, the challenger … Cocina de Josefina, produced by a plant off Fruit Valley Road in Vancouver. Local? Kinda …  as Willamette Week has revealed …
But while the chips are indeed made in the Northwest, they're manufactured at the Vancouver Frito-Lay plant at 4808 NW Fruit Valley Rd., the Columbian first reported, and Frito-Lay is listed nowhere on the packaging because, in the words of a spokesperson, "this is a specialty brand in the Northwest. We wanted it to have that local feel." Some stores display the chips with "Made in Vancouver" signs.

Remember these commercials?

Now, it's true that Cocina de Josefina brand is made in Vancouver, but since the initiative doesn't seem to come straight outta Vancouver, it makes us think of a trend in marketing that makes us pretty sad, and that's this compulsion the big players seem to have to horn in on every single market they can make an excuse to compete in. Life is homogeneous as it is, and Frito-Lay is hardly hurting for customers. Cocina de Josefina … whose bags, while not identical to Juanita's, has a design resonance which seems more than coincidental … is apparently going up against Juanita's, and, well, those are some great chips. You can't really improve on what's already good and satisfying.

The best you can do is reinvent the wheel. An the wheel's rolling pretty good as it is.

Well, they're going to do what they're going to do, regardless of what lil'ol' me says. So, for me and my house, we'll stick with Juanita's.

When you have a choice between the fake-local and local, I recommend going with the local every time. 

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