Pringles are pretty weird. They are the favorite snack of a shirtless Brad Pitt in the middle of a fever dream. They are both a chip and crisp (we will get to this important distinction in a moment). Their mascot, Julius Pringle, has a mustache but no mouth with which to eat the product he pitches. There have been over 100 flavors of Pringles, including grilled shrimp and pumpkin pie spice. Oh, and the inventor of the Pringle can is buried in one.
Here are five stories behind the odd history of this "hyperbolic paraboloid"-shaped snack food:
The Great Chip/Crisp Debate
Are Pringles potato chips? While this question may seem to have an obvious answer, it ended up costing Procter & Gamble (the company that once owned Pringles, but since has sold it to Diamond Foods) more than $150 million. In 1975, the FDA declared that the makers of Pringles could not officially call them "potato chips" because their product was made from dehydrated potatoes, not thin slices of fried potatoes. However, the FDA gave Procter & Gamble a sort of half victory by allowing the company to refer to Pringles as "potato chips made from dried potatoes" as long as the lettering on the label was "not less than one‐half the size of the largest type." However, to do away with confusion, Pringles simply declared itself to be potato "crisps" and has since fully embraced this distinction.