Chips Ab is founded on the 14th of May 1969. The founders want to create country-based industry to prevent emigration from Åland. Despite their visionary abilities, the founders Knut Mattson, Lars Mattson and Pehr-Olof Böckelman were hardly able to predict the company’s future development.
The idea to manufacture potato chips originated from a trip to America, which was followed by getting familiar with Swedish ready product. After this the founders were convinced that production in Åland could be launched.
In November 1970, the first factory is established in Haraldsby of North Åland. The first product is the plain salted ”Taffel Chips” potato chip packed in 75g bags. At the time, the company Karl Fazer Ab held exclusive rights to sell Taffel products in Finland
A new production hall is built to Haraldsby factory. Chips Ab begins to purchase stocks from companies in Åland, such as Ålandsbanken and Kumlinge Fry.
In addition to the company's potato snacks products, it expands operations to include frozen potato products. "Oolannin" trademark is born.
Chips takes the selling and marketing of frozen potato products in Finland as its responsibility. Office with 10 employees is established in Helsinki.
The ownership structure was taken under the scope. The power struggle between major owners results in the taking over of Fazer's and De Danske Spritfabriker's shareholdings in the company by Åland’s united business front . A proprietary sales organization was set up, which started operation on 1 January 1988.
Privileged shares are noted on the Helsinki Stock Exchange OTC list.
During the jubilee year 1989 (20 year anniversary) the company expands significantly by acquiring 50 % of Swedish OLW. The shares are purchased from Wasabröd AB.
At the general meeting in April, the Chairman of the Board, Knut Mattson, leaves the position he has been holding since the birth of the company. Stur Carlson is selected as the new Chairman and Group Director on the same occasion.
The company takes its first steps into the Baltic and Russian markets. A/S Chips Ltd is established in Estonia.
Investments in the Baltic countries increase. Chip purchases 75 % of the stocks of snacks and potato refining company Latfood A/S. The company has approximately one hundred employees, a proprietary production facility and sales office near Riga in Latvia.
OLW builds the most modern snacks product factory in Northern Europe to Filipstad in cooperation with the municipality. Sales offices are opened in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Chips centralises its operations and sells the Plasto group.
OLW’s new factory is opened in August. Latfood A/S becomes a full subsidiary company and a new effective potato chip line is installed for Baltic and Russian markets.
The name of the parent company is changed to Chips Abp. In August, the Russian economy collapses. Sales offices in Moscow and St. Petersburg are closed. The remaining 50 % of OLW’s share capital is purchased from Novartis AG.
Chips purchases 100 % of the share capital of Swedish Topp Livsmedelsprodukter AB. As a result of the purchase, the group also acquires own operations in frozen foods in Sweden. In addition, the Finnish product selection expands to include Topp’s frozen vegetables. The agreement is entered on 1 March and the seller is Atle AB.
In September 2000, the Chips Group acquires 60 % of KiMS snacks companies in Denmark and Norway. Chips grows to be the largest snacks company in Scandinavia and the Baltic countries. The turnover of the group grows to 250 million euros and the number of personnel increases to 1000 persons.
The Russian Snack Company is purchased. As a result of the acquisition,. the domestic market of Chips Group is grown and the group acquires potato chip and snacks production also in Russia.
The business and trademark of Parrots (”nature’s snacks”) are purchased in Sweden and Finland.
The ownership of all Chips Abp shares is transferred to Norwegian industrial group Orkla Asa and the shares of Chips are delisted from the main list of Helsinki Stock Exchange.
In July 2007, the food company Ab Chips Food Oy is sold to the recently founded Chipsters Ab, mainly owned by companies and private persons from Åland.
The company shuts down its RSC snacks operations in Russia and gives up the Parrots trademark in Finland and Sweden.
The companies of Chips Group reach market leadership with their snacks products on all Scandinavian markets.
If you want to know more about the company’s history, read the book "Från knölar i marken till miljoner i banken". CHIPS- ett Åländskt industriellt företagsbygge. Jörgen Pettersson, Anders Mattsson.
The Orkla group implements reorganisation of the Nordic Confectionery & Snacks business operations. Oy Panda Ab is merged into Chips Ab.