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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Kenny's Kumara Chips 'a healthier choice?'


Kenny's Kumara Chips are a healthier alternative to traditional potato snack chips for many reasons. In terms of fat content, Kenny's Kumara Chips contain a minimum of 25% less fat compared to leading brands of ready salted potato chips. Also, since we cook our Kumara chips at a lower temperature, we have also been able to retain much of the nutritional value of the Kumara. In this way, Kumara chips are a healthier choice because there are health benefits to consuming, rather than just empty calories.


Kenny's Kumara Chips are a source of


  • Vitamin A and Beta Carotene
  • Dietary Fibre
  • Vitamin C
  • Iron and Calcium

They contain n o artificial flavours, colours or preservatives.

We do not use any unnatural (chemical) anti-oxidation methods

Gluten and trans fat free.


Why are Kenny's Kumara Chips not made in New Zealand?

As a New Zealand owned and operated company, we identified an obvious gap in the market when it came to kumara Chips. Many manufacturers have tried and failed at making crsipy, low-fat kumara chips that can be produced and sold competitively . We discovered and developed an innovative cooking technique that allows us to fill this gap. Unfortunately, the machinery that this technique requires is currently unavailable in New Zealand, but is available in China. Our ultimate goal is to eventually have enough sales to justify building a plant in New Zealand and to continue with production here. In the mean time, to keep our costs at the competitive price that they are, it is unachievable to produce our chips in New Zealand.


The Kumara we use:

We currently use Chinese grown kumara because one of our secrets to creating a crisp kumara chip is to use, as we say on the label, "top quality fresh Kumara". If we were to export New Zealand kumara to China, they would no longer be fresh when it came time for processing. Kenny's is a New Zealand owned and operated company that has developed a revolutionary new product; kumara chips that are lower in fat, crisp and nutritious. Not only do Kenny's Kumara Chips taste good, but they also are better for you than the traditional potato chip. Our aim is not to confuse our customers, which is why our packaging now states:


"Developed by Nutritious Foods Ltd. in New Zealand;

Manufactured in China for Kenny's;

Complies with the Australian and New Zealand Food Standards Code".


What's the difference between "sweet potato" and Kumara?


The sweet potato has many different names around the world, but in New Zealand it is known by it's Maori name, Kumara. In the United States and other English speaking countries, the Kumara is known as "sweet potato", in France, "patate douce", in China "hong shu" ( 红薯), and in Vietnam, "khoai lang." There is no difference in nutritional value or appearance between Chinese "sweet potato" or "kumara" and we use look from the ones here in New Zealand.


Here are some photos to identify the (lack of) difference in appearance.


Sweet Potatoes in Sydney


Sweet Potatoes in Beijing


Sweet Potatoes/"Kumara" in New Zealand


Why Kenny's "Kumara" Chips and not "sweet potato"?

"Kumara" is the common name is New Zealand for this particular vegetable. The name "Kumara Chips" simply identifies what the product is. The kumara is actually of American origin, a wild species of Ipomoea found in Mexico. Over thousands of years it was introduced to Polynesia and Meleanesian islands as well as South-East Asia, then in to the Pacific region, hundreds of years before it was introduced into New Zealand.


If we exported to Germany, France or Japan, we would use neither "kumara" or "sweet potato" for our product's name, as that would not be the common term for that vegetable in those countries, and again would cause further confusion. It is our aim to keep our customers in total understanding of what our product is, and therefore, a common term, "kumara", is used.


How does the calorie count of Kenny's Kumara Chips compare to other popular snack chips?


ENERGY per 100g:

- Kenny's Kumara Chips (Natural): 2010 KJ (480 calories)

- Eta: (Upper Cuts) Potato Chips (Sea Salt): 2200 KJ (525 calories)

- Copper Kettle Potato Chips (BBQ): 2060 KJ (492 calories)

- Bluebird (Delisice) Potato Chips (Sweet Chilli Relish): 2110 KJ (504 calories)


Do Kenny's Kumara chips have more nutritional value than potato chips?



Why do Kenny's Kumara Chips contain (on average) 25% less fat than regular potato chips?


We keep the fat content of Kenny's Kumara Chips down primarily by using a  shallow frying technique rather than high temperature deep frying. Secondly, Kenny's Kumara Chips undergo a vigorous de-oiling process before they are fully dried. This is why Kenny's Kumara Chips feel less greasy than potato chips, and why the fat content is significantly lower. Shallow, low temperature frying also allows for the retention of the kumara's natural nutritional value and flavour, which would mostly be destroyed by traditional deep-fat-frying.


Do Kenny's Kumara Chips contain any traces of dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts or tree nuts?

T he Kenny's Kumara Chips range (all three flavours inclusive) contains no trace of eggs, soy, peanuts or tree nuts. However, Kenny's Kumara Chips Sour Cream and Chives flavour does contain dairy, as we use real sour cream to make the flavouring. We have clearly marked this on the packet to make sure our customers are aware.


What is GI (Glycemic Index)?

The glycemic index ranks how quickly the body converts carbohydrates into sugar; the lower a certain food ranks on the glycemic index, the slower it releases energy into the body. Consuming foods with a high GI often leads to a pronounced rise and fall in blood sugar levels, which can sometimes  leave you feeling a little 'crashed out.' Choosing to eat foods which contain low GI carbohydrates has been proven to help maintain a healthy body weight, manage blood glucose (sugar) levels and reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease.


For more information, check out our full article at


http://kumarachips.co.nz/About/Low.asp


How does Kumara rank on the GI?

Kumara enjoys the lowest glycemic index rating among all root vegetables, and a significantly lower ranking than white potatoes.

Kumara digests slowly, allowing a gradual rise in blood sugar and is therefore less likely to cause weight gain.

What kind of quality assurance  do Kenny's Kumara Chips have?

Kenny's Kumara Chips are produced under the highest quality control system HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point). Kenny's Kumara Chips fully meet the food safety requirements by the New Zealand Food Satety Authority (NZFSA). In addition, the manufacturer holds the International Food Standard and Quality Standard authentication. The Kenny's Kumara Chips production line also  produces goods exported to Japan, Korea, Canada and other OECD countries.


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