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Local company invents popular snacks

Global snacks made locally

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Miles Willard Technologies has been in business for 44 years. They invented the potato flakes and many of the popular snack foods eaten today.

With the changes that have occurred in the food industry, the company has changed how they make their products.

One of the recent food trends that has impacted the company is the health craze.

"There's not a snack company in the world who doesn't know who we are," said Randy Kern, the managing partner at Miles Willard Technologies.

Kern has been with the company for several decades.

"We've been through all the fads," said Kern

He remembered the protein craze with the Atkins diet in the late 90s.

"We were making some high protein snacks. I never tasted one that was worth eating," said Kern.

How the company makes their products has also changed.

"We probably ran the fryer every day in our facility. I can't tell you the last time we had the fryer on. Everything we're doing is baked, so it's better for you."

The baked snacks are invented in Idaho Falls but sold all over the world.

The company's snack foods are sold in Asia, plus 16 countries in Europe and Africa.

"The best place to eat a snack is in the facility immediately when it comes off the line," said Kern.

Many products on the line get made with special cutters that are designed in the facility and come in every shape to cut chips.

Kern said the equipment in the 12,000 square-foot facility is designed to be reconfigured to match the production lines of their clients.

The small team of just 17 comes up with some of the most popular snack foods on the market.

"You'd never know it's invented here," said Kern.

He said many of the employees have degrees in food science, chemical engineering and microbiology.

The company is looking to expand to Australia for the next market.

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