Herr’s Snack Factory Tour
If you’ve ever been snacking on a bag of chips and thought to yourself “I wonder how they make these?” there is a tour for that! Herr’s Foods located in Nottingham, Chester County has a tourist component to their snack foods factory where you can tour actual working assembly lines narrated by a tour guide. If you are looking for a fairly quick day trip that’s fun and educational, I would recommend this one. Plus, you get free chips and who doesn’t like that?
You must make reservations ahead of time, but I called the day before and had no problem finding a time that suited us. Tours are run continually during production hours so there are lots of opportunities to join in. Just a note, tours are only conducted during the work week as the lines are closed on the weekends. Actual running production lines are more likely Monday through Wednesday so these are the ideal days to tour. Thursday to Friday you are not guaranteed a running line, you may only have the video clips to demonstrate how the equipment works. You can pay over the phone with a credit card so when you arrive, you just have to check in and get your paper tickets. Make sure you wear flat, rubber-soled shoes comfortable for walking, but flip-flops ARE okay. The tour is fully wheelchair and stroller accessible and takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete. Upon arrival, follow the Snack Factory Tour signs to know where to park and enter. At your assigned tour time, the guide makes an announcement and visitors are ushered into a small theater where you are given the chance to view a 15-minute film introducing Herr Foods and relating its history and interviewing the founders. Next guides will take smaller groups of people on the walking tour. You will walk through corridors outfitted with large viewing windows where you can peer into the production lines. In addition, short video clips play on monitors throughout the tour illustrating the area of production you are observing. At one point we went outside for a bit, and then entered a packing room where we walked above the employees on a catwalk for more touring. Towards the end, we witnessed one continuous production line that started with peeled potatoes bouncing into a hopper and ended with fresh cooked potato chips heading off to be packaged. Our tour guide suited up and headed into the room to retrieve a large bowl of newly made chips and proceeded to put a handful into our waiting cupped hands! If only they stayed that hot and fresh when you purchase a bag at the grocery store. We all enjoyed our tasty snack, however it was messy. If I did the tour again I think I would bring some sandwich bags to put them in so I wouldn’t lose half of them on the floor, not to mention keeping our hands clean.
Just before our guide dropped us back off at the visitor’s center, we each received 2 free bags of chips, which is more than you get at Hershey’s Chocolate World. Make sure you browse the gift shop as there is a rack with individual serving bags that are factory seconds (have some sort of packaging/weight defect) and they are just $.17 each, although some of the flavors are strange. Across from the gift shop is “Chipper’s Café” serving snack and lunch foods for purchase. A large sitting area is attached although signs warn visitors it is not to be used for carry-in food. We brought a packed lunch so we had to go outside and eat in the shaded picnic table area of which there was also plenty of seating. The only problem with that was it was like 100 degrees so even in the shade we were melting.
Apparently Herr’s other offerings include birthday party and school field trip hosting. If you have a chip lover in your family or just someone who wants to know how things are made, make the Herr’s Snack Factory Tour your next destination, but don’t wait as school is just around the corner making weekday visits more challenging.
Special note: Cell phones (you can carry it) and cameras were prohibited during the actual tour portion of our visit so I was not able to get photos for the blog.
Admission: $4/adults, $3/children 4-17, FREE/children 3 and under
Hours: 9AM-3PM on Monday-Thursday, 9AM-11AM on Fridays, closed weekends.
Herr’s Snack Factory Tour
271 Old Baltimore Pike
Nottingham, PA 19362
1 (800) 284-7488
Please visit www.herrs.com for more information!