Why Is There A Pretzel Company In The UK Called Penn State Snacks?

Puzzled Penn Staters have seen pretzels adorned with their favorite university’s name in stores across the United Kingdom and even as snacks on transatlantic flights. We might be known for football and ice cream in Happy Valley, but I’ve never heard of our school being known for salted, knotted snacks. So why the Penn State name for these tasty little treats?

According to the Penn State Pretzels brand’s website, the company is widely known in the UK and was the first to bring an authentic “American-style” pretzel to the region back in 1996. When Union Snacks decided to start making pretzels for its UK customers, Pennsylvania was the only place to go. The state was a popular settling spot for many Pilgrims who brought the pretzel recipe with them from Europe, and the first pretzel bakery was opened in the state soon after settlement. As we all know, pretzels are a favorite all across the country, but the Penn State Snacks website says that Pennsylvania eats 12 times more pretzels than any other state.

According to customer service, the Penn State name was created when the owners of Union Snacks — then the pretzel brand’s parent company — went to buy their first pretzel extruder from Reading Bakeries and came up with the idea…from the name of the state, not the school. So, sadly, these pretzels have no relation to Dear Old State. The company says it has never had any contact with the university.

While we haven’t managed to get our hands on the pretzels just yet, they come in a promising range of flavors, including Original Sea Salted, Smoky BBQ, Sour Cream & Chive (so British), and Honey & Mustard. Penn State Snacks also sells limited edition pretzel flavors like Maple Bacon and a variety of other snack products like corn chips.

Judging from its website, Penn State Snacks is feeling pretty good about itself these days, boasting their product as “the best pretzels on the market.” Want to nibble on the famed snacks yourself? The official Penn State Snacks website is currently undergoing a redesign, but previous versions had an online store to purchase them. In the meantime, an online food store is still selling the Penn State brand.

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About the Author

Melissa McCleery

Melissa is a senior majoring in Women’s Studies, Political Science, and Spanish. In the little free time she has, Melissa likes to cook, spend all her money at The Phyrst, and add to her collection of blue and white striped clothing. She can be reached via Twitter (@mkmccleery) or email ([email protected]).

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