Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pringles Are Not Potato Chips!

Faux Food and taxes

I knew it all along! In the UK Pringles have been officially classified as not made of potatoes! I am a potato lover from way back...when I was little I'd opt for a boiled potato over cake......weird little kid, but true to my beloved potato. I don't just like potatoes, I truly love them. I've been suspicious of Pringles ever since they came out, because they did not seem to be real potato chips at all. Didn't taste like them and there was nothing about them that was like a real potato chip. And it took the commission looking into this SEVEN years to figure this out. That is job security for sure...well, seven years worth.

The reason this whole thing came up was in England they have a 17.5% called a Value Added Tax, VAT. (I can't make this stuff up!) Procter and Gamble, the maker of Pringles, went to court to say that their product wasn't real potatoes so they shouldn't fall under this tax. The High Court Judge agreed that because of their uniform color, and that they are all the same shape, which is not found in nature and they have only 42% potato in them is what helped them decide that Pringles are not the same as regular potato crisps, even though it says so on the tube. That's just wrong to have a tube of chips. Anyway, they are not subject to that horrific tax. They actually said Pringles are more like a cake or a biscuit because they are manufactured from dough. My reference is BBC news and the blog Inky Circus. I can't think of better sources to check after hubby blindsided me with this bit of information this morning before I'd even had coffee.

17.5% tax on chips is a lot, in my opinion. Even Ebay users are being hit by this VAT tax. I looked around on the net...actually from the BBC news site to try and figure out why they have such an onerous tax on potato chips. I'd go crazy, since I bought some the other day at Kroger for $1.77....we were seeing who could save more money that day. Right now our chips are not taxed. Hubby looked on a receipt from the grocery store to make sure. From what I can figure out from the synopsis on several sites it is a sneaky way to keep from raising taxes. I guess some other tax. I'm sure our government will be on this like wildfire to tax our chips. One site said the VAT was being introduced in India and they were not pleased with it at all.

Thank goodness the VAT is in the UK and not here. When we were in Arkansas last fall we finally asked what the tax rate was, and the people who live there told us they have no idea it is so complicated. That is when I gave up on living there or voting for anyone who lives there.

Other Weirdness Today

This morning I saw women run a foot race in high heels. Kelly Rippa didn't win, but did run in the race that was actually a fund raiser for The March of Dimes. They partnered with Dr. Scholl's and the first prize was $25,000 and a gigantic statue of a high heel shoe painted gold. They said it was for women only, but there were men running in high heels, too. I'm just amazed every morning when I wake up and turn on the news.


  1. LOL! Sometimes I wish they (the infamous they) would come up with separate stations - Ones for REAL news, different ones for FUN news, and then entirely different ones for celebrity news. (that way I could actually CHOOSE to watch news and NOT watch celebrity news! But... back to the Pringles. I knew they weren't real potato - but I never questioned it. I just figured that "truth in advertising" is such a misnomer in all things American that it wasn't worth worrying MY pretty little head about! And... in Maryland, if it's edible there is not tax. But that varies state to state. I don't entirely GET this VAT tax... "Value Added"??? Well... tax does add value to just about ANYthing... WHAT exactly are they talking about? Value added... *shakin' my head* ... I don't get it.

  2. VAT tax? If it has value, we are going to tax it? So no more tax on cigarettes and alcohol? (Neither of which I use.)

    I always thought Pringles were made from instant potatoes. That have that funky sort of flavor about them.