For over 30 years, Herr Foods Incorporated has been manufacturing snack foods with OU certification. A recognized leader in the snack food industry, Herr’s is headquartered in Nottingham, in Southeastern Pennsylvania, about an hour from Philadelphia and Baltimore. The family-owned and-operated company began 65 years ago and has mastered the ability to continually introduce innovative products and packaging needed to satisfy ever-changing appetites and tastes of the snack food consumer.
The Orthodox Union is the most widely recognized kosher certifying agency in the world. Some of the Herr’s sales market opportunities are in areas that encompass large Jewish populations. Many of the sales accounts request kosher status for the products that Herr’s manufactures and sells. Herr’s recognizes that many consumers view the kosher certification as an extra level of product quality supervision.
Tom Chase, Research & Development Technologist at Herr’s, is the current kosher coordinator. Tom clearly recalls his first visit with Rabbi Yitzchak Friedman. “We are predominately gentiles in this processing plant and we will not understand the issues involved with food laws. However, we at Herr’s have an agreement with the Orthodox Union that assures that when an OU or an OU-D symbol appears on our package, the consumer buying that product will have confidence that the product in the package will be what the symbol implies.” Herr’s works closely with the current rabbinical field representative, Rabbi Richard Levine, to do just that.
Phil Bernas, V.P. of Research & Development/Quality Assurance, explained the manufacturing process for kosher certification. “All of our potato chips are either kosher pareve or kosher dairy. There is a complete cleanup (hot water and an oil solvent cleaner) after kosher dairy products are manufactured before running a kosher pareve product. We also run kosher for Passover chips using cottonseed oil. We have one pretzel line that is dedicated to making pareve pretzel thins and circle H minis. All other pretzels lines are kosher dairy.
On the corn line we did have kosher pareve products and kosher dairy on the same line. This required a hot water (180°) cleanup after running a kosher dairy product. Now the white corn tortilla line is kosher pareve and the yellow corn line is kosher dairy. All the items (cheese curls, snack friez and baked potato crisps) manufactured in the new plant are kosher dairy. All popcorn items are kosher dairy.”
Herr’s offers a free factory tour at the Nottingham headquarters. Visitors are given a guided tour of the factory to see how all of the Herr’s snacks are made. A favorite part of the tour is sampling the warm potato chips right out of the cooker. Many Orthodox schools and families visit the Herr’s Snack Factory each year. The tour is fun, educational and appeals to all ages.
Herr’s has company-owned branches in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. Herr’s national sales team has sales in 48 states, as well as export sales and distributors. The Herr’s online store is another way for customers to purchase Herr’s snacks to be shipped to their home or to send as gifts to others. Herr’s online is an easy way to send kosher snacks to your family and friends. If you have any questions about purchasing online, just call the toll free number, 1-800-284-7488 during the weekday business hours of 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and the staff will be happy to help you.
Herr Foods Inc. has been adding flavor to the lives of families for 65 years. From the very beginning, James S. Herr’s commitment to bring the freshest, best-tasting snacks foods has been the standard while staying grounded in what matters most – family, excellence and satisfied customers.