Farmers chipping in to Smith’s success

Jason Menegazzo, Smith’s grower and Riverina farmer, and Danny Celoni, CEO of parent company PepsiCo ANZ.

With 90 years of rich history and farming roots, Smith’s is celebrating the unique stories of the farmers and people that made the chip brand an Aussie favourite for almost a century.

In 1931, Smith’s emerged from humble beginnings in the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills.

Frank Smith and George Ensor started making chips in 20 gas-fired cooking pots, before packing them by hand and seasoning with a “twist of salt”.

Thirty years on, Smith’s released the first flavoured chip in Australian history – chicken.

Over its 90-year history in Australia, Smith’s has partnered with more than 30 growers across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia.

Jason Menegazzo, a Riverina farmer who has been a part of the Smith’s family for more than 20 years, said his relationship with Smith’s started when his now-retired father Gerald Menegazzo was managing the farm.

“The relationship with PepsiCo ANZ has been built over two decades and I’m confident it will extend a long time into the future,” Mr Menegazzo said.

Jason said one of the best things to come out of the partnership was access to better quality varieties.

“They have been listening and supporting me since the day I signed on and have continued to invest in seed technology research that ensures not only my potatoes, but all Smith’s chips potatoes, are the best in the business,” Mr Menegazzo said.

“It’s phenomenal what the partnership achieves between Smith’s and its growers – they really understand that if you don’t start with a good seed then you’re fighting an uphill battle.”

Smith’s only uses Australian potatoes for its chips, purchasing 90 million kilograms of fresh potatoes each year from local farmers all over the country, making Smith’s the largest buyer of crisping potatoes in Australia.

Danny Celoni, CEO of parent company PepsiCo ANZ, said this year marked a significant milestone for the brand but, more importantly, for the people behind Smith’s.

“Smith’s enjoys a proud Australian heritage with our one-of-a-kind potatoes being grown and produced by local Aussie farmers for generations,” he said.

“Ninety years is a momentous feat and there’s no better time to celebrate and give thanks to our farmers, people and loyal consumers that have made Smith’s what it is today.”