Uglies Kettle Chips Rebrand

Virtual Farm Creative

Phoenixville, PA 19460, USA

Anything but…ugly branding.

In 1964, a young Mark Dieffenbach began kettle-cooking chips from local potatoes and distributing them. Given the technology and processes at the time, these chips were probably pretty ugly (but they were also delicious) and the small company kept growing and improving. Three generations later, Dieffenbach’s Potato Chips are made in two improved plants—looking great and still tasting delicious.

However, the Dieffenbach family of chip makers wisely noticed two trends and decided to use their business to do something about them. Within the modern process of potato chip making, a lot of imperfect potatoes were being discarded and ultimately wasted, as was the common industry practice. At the same time, world hunger was at an all time high so, in 2017, Dieffenbach’s introduced the Uglies® brand—a chip that utilized the less than perfect (but still delicious) potatoes and pledged a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Uglies Kettle Cooked Chips to VivaKids, an organization that fights childhood hunger.

The Uglies® brand story was compelling, the product was excellent, but sales weren’t what they might have been—based partly on mixed messaging on previously over-designed packaging.

Virtual Farm Creative (VFC) examined the Uglies® problem with fresh sets of eyes and developed a strategic branding and packaging plan that gave Dieffenbach’s leadership options. Once they made some business decisions about the brand and product lines, VFC conceptualized solutions and collaborated on their implementation and development for a 2022 roll-out of the rebranded product line.

VFC developed an iconic, playful logotype to establish the tone and feel of the brand and felt strongly about employing a high-profile character to communicate with the consumer. But the character had to be executed professionally—the brand had experimented with characters in the past and the effect was juvenile and at odds with positive product promotion.

Enter “Ugly.” While Ugly, the character VFC introduced, is personality-packed, he (she/it?) never overwhelms messaging on packaging, in advertising or on the website. Ugly is a playful, memorable and flexible marketing tool that accentuates everything the Uglies® brand is attempting to accomplish.

Ugly is a tongue-in-cheek, crudely-drawn spokes-spud that embodies the attitude of Uglie’s Kettle Chips—that the chip’s lacking in the looks department is more than made up for in TASTE and the impact of the overall mission of the product: To reduce food waste and help fight childhood hunger!
Now, the Uglies brand has a lively brand personality that lives up to its name.


Virtual Farm Creative

Phoenixville, PA 19460, USA

Darren Price, Art Director / Designer / Illustrator

Todd Palmer, Creative Director / Copy Writer

Virtual Farm Creative, Inc., Agency

Dieffenbach’s Snacks, Client