NEPA Scene Staff

Annual Middleswarth Chip Eating Contest is back at Sabatini’s in Exeter on Nov. 27

Annual Middleswarth Chip Eating Contest is back at Sabatini’s in Exeter on Nov. 27
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From a press release:

Declared “the most Pennsylvania thing ever” on its flyer, the annual Middleswarth Potato Chip Eating Contest is coming back for a sixth year, leaving nothing but empty Weekender bags and millions of tiny crumbs in its wake.

If you’ve ever scarfed down a bag or cardboard bucket of this local snack food favorite, maybe you can become the King or Queen of Chips.

Hosted by Wilkes-Barre food distributor Northeast Snacks and sponsored by Pocono Soda Co., the contest will return to Sabatini’s Bottleshop & Bar (1901 Wyoming Ave., Exeter) on Saturday, Nov. 27.

Contestants, who must be 18 or older, will be challenged to eat the most amount of chips by weight in five minutes and can choose between Middleswarth’s famous “Bar-B-Q” flavor or plain chips. Water to wash it all down is allowed.

The winner will receive an official Chip Champ trophy, a $50 Northeast Snacks gift certificate, a case of craft soda from Pocono Soda and, most importantly, legendary local status.

Doors open at 10 a.m., and the all-ages, family-friendly event will start at 11 a.m.

The cost is $25 per entry, which includes chips and a limited edition event T-shirt. Tickets go on sale this Friday, Aug. 6 at noon at These limited tickets will sell out quickly, as they have in previous years, so contestants are asked to only purchase one entry per household, per transaction. Duplicates will be refunded.

In March, Northeast Snacks hosted its first NEPA Easter Egg Hunt, hiding five golden eggs at public venues throughout the Wyoming Valley that contained certificates for six-month supplies of Middleswarth Chips.

“We had to postpone our annual Middleswarth Chip Eating Contest this year due to COVID, but we still wanted to do something fun for our customers. I watched a lot of Willy Wonka as a kid and thought this would be a cool idea,” owner Albert Martino commented.

Founded by Martino in 2014, the e-commerce distributor specializes in shipping everyone’s favorite snack foods from Pennsylvania, including Middleswarth Chips, Gertrude Hawk Chocolates, Tastykakes, and Old Forge pizza, to the rest of the United States. They also have related products available to purchase like Middleswarth beach towels and coffee mugs as well as ketchup from Pittston Ketchup Co.

“Northeast Snacks was formed out of the frustration of hunger. I was born and raised in the Northeastern corner of PA and, like many other local people, had fallen in love with some of the unique snack foods, like Middleswarth Potato Chips, Tastykake, and many others that are exclusive to our region,” Martino said.

“After moving out to Phoenix, Arizona, I tried looking for someplace online that could ship me Middleswarth Potato Chips in a simple and cost-effective manner. To my surprise, nothing really seemed to exist, and with having many years experience with developing e-commerce websites, I decided to change that.”

Watch videos from previous Middleswarth Potato Chip Eating Contests below: