your question who invented smiley fries

Have you ever wondered who is responsible for bringing a smile to your fries? That’s right, we’re talking about the infamous “smiley fries.” You know the ones – those delicious, crispy potato creations that are shaped like a smiley face. Well, buckle up because we’re about to answer your burning question of just who invented these iconic fries. With thorough research and unwavering confidence, we’ll delve into the history of this beloved snack and reveal the mastermind behind its creation. Get ready to discover the true origin of the smiley fry!

French fries are a beloved classic in the fast-food world, but have you heard of smiley fries? As their name suggests, they are fries that are shaped like little smiley faces – a playful addition to the menu. But who actually came up with the idea for smiley fries? In this article, we’ll explore the history of french fries, the rise of fast food chains, and three contenders who could have potentially invented this cheerful snack.

Historical background: The emergence of French Fries

French fries have been around for centuries, but their exact origins are unclear. Some say they originated in Belgium, where people were known to fry thin strips of potatoes. Others believe that they were brought to North America by French immigrants in the early 1800s.

Regardless of where they came from, french fries became a popular side dish in North American restaurants and diner-style establishments by the 1920s.

Making its way to the big leagues

As fast food chains became increasingly popular in the mid-20th century, french fries quickly became a staple item on their menus. These chains began to expand their offerings beyond burgers and sodas, adding additional sides like onion rings and chicken nuggets. And it wasn’t long before some added novelty items like smiley face-shaped fries.

The Contenders: Who invented Smiley Fries?

Three companies claim they were responsible for inventing smiley fries: Simplot Company, McCain Foods Limited, and Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. Let’s examine each contender in detail:

Contender 1: Simplot Company

J.R. Simplot founded his company in 1929 and quickly became known as a pioneer in the frozen food industry. He introduced the first frozen french fries to restaurants in 1946 and continued to innovate new food products throughout his career.

Simplot Company’s claim to fame regarding smiley fries comes from their alleged invention in the 1990s. The company states that they were the first to develop and manufacture smiley fries for commercial sale. They reportedly began selling them under the name “Crazy Fries” in 1992, which were shaped like different objects, including smiley faces.

Contender 2: McCain Foods Limited

Harrison McCain and his brother founded McCain Foods Limited in Canada in 1957. Like Simplot, their company became famous for producing frozen potato products, including french fries.

McCain Foods claims that they invented smiley face-shaped fries and began producing them in 1997. They marketed their product as “Smiley Fries,” which quickly became a hit with consumers.

Contender 3: Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc.

F. Gilbert Lamb and Gerard Mussallam founded Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. in 1950 after developing a process to freeze potatoes without creating ice crystals – which can affect taste and texture. Today, their company is known for providing frozen potato products to restaurants around the world.

Lamb Weston claims that they began producing smiley face-shaped fries in the late 1990s under the name “Kozy Shack Fries.” Their shape was patented by 2002, but it’s unclear when exactly they first started producing them commercially.

Collaborative Innovation or Coincidence?

It’s possible that all three companies independently came up with the idea for smiley fries around the same time. However, it’s also possible that there was some cross-pollination between the companies or industry trends that led to similar ideas.

Looking at patent filings, it’s clear that each company had a unique process for creating and shaping their fries. Simplot’s process involved cutting potatoes into specific shapes, while McCain Food’s involved using a mold to create the smiley face shape. Lamb Weston’s patent focused on the process they used to shape potato strips into the smiley face.

The Cultural Significance of Smiley Fries

Smiley faces have been a cultural phenomenon since their creation in 1963 as part of a promotion for Worcester Mutual Fire Insurance Company. Today, we see smileys everywhere – on social media, in advertising campaigns, and even on clothing.

The invention of smiley fries was likely a product of this cultural trend, as food manufacturers looked for ways to make their products more playful and fun. By adding smiley face-shaped fries to their menus, fast food chains tapped into this phenomenon and added a touch of joy to their customers’ dining experiences.

Smiley Fries at Present

Today, smiley fries can be found at fast food chains around the world, and have even been the subject of new innovations. For example, some companies now offer sweet potato smiley fries or vegan smiley fries made with alternative ingredients.


The origins of smiley fries may never be known for certain. But what is clear is that these cheerful little snacks have become a beloved addition to fast food menus around the world. Whether they were invented by Simplot Company, McCain Foods Limited, or Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc., one thing is for sure: they bring happiness with every bite.


Smiley fries, a popular item on fast food menus, have been a symbol of happiness and joy for many years. However, their origin remains a mystery. This article explores the history of french fries’ emergence, the fast-food industry’s rise, and the introduction of novelty items such as smiley fries. It also delves into the contenders for who invented them – Simplot Company, McCain Foods Limited, and Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. – examining their histories, product lines, and patent filings. Furthermore, it discusses the cultural significance of smiley fries as they bridge generations with a symbol familiar to both young and old: the smiley face. Although it is challenging to determine who truly invented them conclusively, one thing is certain: smiley fries are here to stay! Their availability in fast food chains worldwide proves their popularity, and new variations continue to emerge. In conclusion, we may not know definitively who invented smiley fries; what we do know is that they spread joy and happiness worldwide with every bite!

Similar Posts