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I'm on a mission- Kettle Chips New Flavor Voting- Aztec Chocolate must win

Yes, the Aztec Chocolate chips up for voting to be the "new" flavor for the year from Kettle Chips sounded good enough that I actually ordered the set of the new flavors that are up for voting just to see. I really enjoyed Cheddar Beer, which won last year, but didn't care for the Thai Spice ones. This years' flavor nominees are:

Aztec Chocolate
Island Jerk
Dragon 5 Spice
Royal Indian Curry
Twisted Chile Lime

I was rooting for Aztec Chocolate and Royal Indian Curry. When I got the samples of the new flavors, Aztec Chocolate was everything I thought it would be (it's a dark Mexican chocolate backed with chile powder and cumin.) The Royal Indian Curry smelled spot-on, but the taste finished a bit like Chicken Boullion. Island Jerk was a pleasant surprise. Nice bold taste, though not as much tamarind as you would expect. Dragon 5 Spice was billed as an "Asian BBQ" flavor. It was BBQ all right. I could have gone for a bolder 5-spice taste.

Twisted Chile Lime is in the lead right now. Why? Because people are boring. YAWN! Aren't there already enough Chile Lime chips on the market? They are everywhere these days. It will be a supreme waste if Twisted Chile Lime wins. It tasted like every other Chile Lime chip on the market.

The voting is taking place at passporttoflavor.com - I think through the end of the year.

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  1. Seriously, I had no idea there were that many new flavors of Kettle Chips. I am so there with the Aztec Chocolate.

    Every time I go to the grocery store, there is at least a new flavor or two.

    We keep buying the next one, and are eating our way through them one at a time. A fun little food testing experience. Anyway, I am still stuck on the good ole Honey Dijon. I can't help it. But I will keep trying the new bags!

    Kudos to the marketing and advertising brainchild over at Kettle; they have really nailed the market on this one.

    I better go vote...

    1 Reply
    1. re: talkoftomatoes

      I feel like such a shill for trying to drum up votes, but- darnit- The world needs Aztec Chocolate potato chips! :) As a marketing person myself, it really is an impressive example of harnessing an enthusiastic user-base to tell your brand story.

    2. My "party pack" just arrived and I tasted the Island Jerk (thinking "might as well start with the least impressive one") boy was I pleasantly surprised, wonderful combo of spices that really does taste like jerk sauce (think barbecue w/o all the sweetness.)

      Can't wait to dive into the other 5.

      ~AquaW
      http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

      1. I was pleasantly surprised by the Jerk as well! Definitely let me know what you think of the others.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chowsmurf

          So far Dragon 5 Spice is on my top (haven't tasted the chocolate yet) ~ it reminds me of the fried chicken pieces that boba places serve. Runner-up is Royal Indian Curry.

          ~AquaW
          http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

        2. I am so mad, I missed the UPS guy and he was delivering my chips.

          1. I'm going to have to buck the trend here... I got my pack about a week ago, and tasted them with friends this weekend. None of us listed the Aztec Chocolate as a favorite, though it made a couple of #2 slots. Over-all, it came in in third place.

            Here's how we ended up voting:

            Royal Indian Curry: 2 1st, 1 2nd, 2 3rd

            Dragon 5 Spice: 2 1st, 1 2nd, 1 3rd, 1 4th

            Aztec Chocolate: 2 2nd, 1 3rd, 2 4th

            Twisted Chili Lime: 1 1st, 1 2nd, 1 3rd, 2 5th

            Island Jerk: 2 4th, 3 5th

            As you can see, the only real concensus was that we didn't like the Island Jerk.

            My personal ratings:

            Indian Curry
            Dragon 5 Spice
            Twisted Chili Lime
            Aztec Chocolate
            Island Jerk

            1. OK - I'll bite. Anywhere that I can buy the new flavors to try without paying the $20 for the party pack?

              The Aztec Chocolate sounds similar to Vosges's Red Fire Tortilla chips (I haven't tried those, but do like mole in general).

              1. Finally got our sample pack! Two friends and I sampled each flavor and we all agreed that our least favorite was the Island Jerk. It tasted the most artificial to us, and didn't have enough heat. For favorite it was a tie for me between the Aztec Chocolate and the Royal Indian Curry. One friend voted for the curry and the other for the 5-spice. I agree with one of the posters that the 5-spice was subtle, but that's what we liked about it. We didn't think it tasted like BBQ, though. Funny how different palates sense different things.

                This was very fun! I wouldn't have known about it if it weren't for Chowhound...so thanks!!

                1. We have tasted 3 of the flavors so far.

                  Royal Indian Curry: I liked this flavor very much. Husband thought it was okay. I really think there's a niche for this flavor in the world of American chips. Too salty.

                  Aztec Chocolate: I like it pretty well. Husband made a horrible face. It will never win because it's too odd for most people.

                  Twisted Chili Lime: I like this flavor a lot, and not because I'm boring. I love the cumin flavor. Husband thinks this flavor is disgusting. Too salt by a factor of 2, and maybe 3.

                  Haven't tried the Jerk or Five Spice yet. I despise five spice powder, so I know I will not be voting for it as my favorite. My husband will have to eat them if he doesn't make a horrible face when he tastes them.

                  An overarching comment on the savory Kettle chip flavors: They are FAR TOO SALTY.

                  EDITED: I felt I needed to open my mind a bit and see what I thought about the Dragon 5 Spice, so I opened the bag and actually like them quite a bit. I love the anise and celery seed flavors that come through. And (say it with me) too salty by a factor of 2.

                  1. We just had our tasting last night! Here's how we voted:

                    1. Island Jerk
                    2. Dragon 5-Spice/Indian Curry (tie)
                    3. Twisted Chili Lime
                    4. Aztec Chocolate

                    I have to admit, I ordered the pack because of the Aztec Chocolate since it sounded like an intriguing combination (I love mole) but none of us felt it lived up to what we were expecting. I'm thinking of turning the rest into some potato chip cookies.

                    I think this is a fun way to test out flavors!

                    1. My 2 friends and I thought the Aztec chocolate ones tasted like a churro at first...and then the dark chocolate came through after that. The curry ones had a nice curry flavor which then turned into quite the hit of garlic...which we all loved. I did find the Aztec chocolate to be inconsistent in their heat level...some of the chips were sweet, and others had quite a bit of heat.

                      None of us thought they were too salty. Different strokes!

                      1. So nobody else has weighed in on this thing? I ranked the flavors as follows...

                        1) Royal Indian Curry - if you read the ingredients, there's a *lot* going on on this chip, but I loved the spices and the coconut and mustard flavors. The best of the bunch...it's a shame it'll never see the light of day.

                        2) Island Jerk - also an instant hit, nice fruity BBQ flavor that's wonderfully distinct from existing BBQ chips.

                        3) Twisted Chile Lime - looks like this one will probably win, which is too bad because it's the most similar to existing chip flavors, but I still thought it was a good chip. I like how the "lime" flavor was stronger than other lime chips I've had. Kettle had a great jalapeno/lime/tequila flavor that they've since retired...this will be a good substitute.

                        4) Dragon 5 spice - This one really had a unique flavor that I thought would grow on me, but it didn't. A little too peppery and salty for me.

                        5) Aztec Chocolate - I too was looking forward to this one the most, but the chocolate flavor wasn't that strong and I tasted hardly any spice. I also didn't like the combination of chocolate flavor followed by "potato" aftertaste. And the brown residue was kind of gross. Worth trying once, but this experiment was a flop.

                        I love Kettle Chips. I may love Kettle Chips too much.

                        1. I'll wait for the Fancy Food Show to try the new flavors and vote. :-)

                          1. The tasting was so much fun. We did it at work, and one of the secretaries had to photocopy the ballots when we (quickly) ran out of them.

                            Very few people liked the Aztec Chocolate. Indian Curry and Five Spice were our favorites. I loved the curry chips! My only complaint is the strong odor it left on my fingers (even after licking them- haha).

                            I sent party packs to three more people, just for the fun of it. :0)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sillyrabbit

                              With my family, Indian Curry and Five Spice were also the favorites, with the group split fairly evenly down the middle on the two. Everyone agreed that the Aztec Chocolate was fun as a novelty, but they would never buy them to eat. Chili Lime and Jerk were enjoyable, but not as good as the first two.

                            2. I had a chance to try the Aztec Chocolate and the Island Jerk at a NYE party. The chocolate did nothing for me, not spicy enough and didn't have the salty rush that I want from a potato chip. Liked the Island Jerk very much, lots of unique flavor going on.

                              1. Voting is closed... but I'm wondering if it's worth buying the partypack just to try them? Are they worth four dollars a bag?

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Kajikit

                                  Tasting them all is still great fun, especially if you do it at a party. The more people involved, the more opinions you'll hear.

                                  That said, the winner has been announced. It is.....Island Jerk. Not my favorite, but still tasty.

                                  1. re: Kajikit

                                    All the flavors are worth trying (I've blogged about them recently) & better than last years. I just ordered a 2-pack so I can savor the yummy flavors for as long as possible. Island Jerk wasn't my #1 contender either.

                                    ~AquaW
                                    http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

                                    1. re: AquaW

                                      The bags are on sale now, and you can pick and choose which ones you want!

                                  2. So Island Jerk won -- meh, it's pretty interesting but definitely not among my faves. But yea, I agree Aztec Chocolate was a really long shot (esp. since it turned out to be my least favorite flavor -- just kinda bland and somewhat cinnamon-y)

                                    ~AquaW
                                    http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

                                    1. Oh, I'm bummed about the Island Jerk winning. To me it was like a glorified BBQ chip with not enough of the allspice "jerk flavor". I alo thought there was not enough of that licorice/anise taste in the Five Spice chips.

                                      My favorite was the curry, and I was really hoping that it would win. For years, I've been hoping to see curry kettle-cooked potato chips. Some of the snack mixes I get at Patel Brothers are good but they are not potato chips.

                                      I also had high ambitions for the Aztec chocolate but was let down. They really need to add some salt to those chips. I tried a chocolate covered potato chip at the chocolate show in NY and thought it was such a great combo. In Top Chef, Marcel cooked a potato canneloni filled with chocolate. It has potential, but the Kettle version wasn't very good. You need some salt to bring out the sweet!

                                      The chili lime, I thought, was much better than the Island Jerk and Five Spice. I don't really have much to say about this flavor other than that.

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                        I agree. I think the curry flavor should have won, and I think there is definitely room in the U.S. chip market for a curry chip. I think they would sell just fine. I did like the five spice a lot, though.

                                        1. re: Atomica

                                          I find it interesting that I have only recently found Kettle potato chips, find them the best potato chips on the market today, and that the flavors in this post from four years ago are no longer available.

                                          I have tried all of those available, per their website, with the exception of Yogurt and Onion and Fully Loaded, and still go back to my original favorite, sea salt and vinegar.

                                          Utz's Red Hots wins out over their Jalapeno for heat, but doesn't have their amazing crunch.

                                          Too bad they are not the darling of supermarkets, since Lay's and Wise obviously pay more to supermarkets to showcase their chips than do the folks at Kettle.

                                          Oh well, it's the loss of the consumer if they don't seek these out. They are amazing.

                                          I sent a note to the Kettle folks, advising them that they should up their payola to the dons of the supermarkets, and didn't hear back. No surprise.

                                          1. re: anonymouse1935

                                            Anonymouse,

                                            Most of those flavors never made it to market... they were part of a trial, which was supposed to result in one new "full-time" flavor. I think it was Island Jerk that won... but whichever it was, it didn't last long and was replaced by Thai Spice. Aztec Chocolate and Royal Indian Curry were my favorites.

                                            I think Kettle runs a similar contest every year.

                                            1. re: anonymouse1935

                                              Frito-Lay and Wise have more space in Super Markets because they sell more, not because they pay the Stores for shelf space, which is illegal by the way.

                                              1. re: chipman

                                                Kettle Chips are available at Costco, where I am sure they sell a boatload of chips. Damn good chips.

                                                1. re: chipman

                                                  Also worth noting that Kettle just joined Diamond Foods, which may bring them a bit more supermarket clout.

                                                2. re: anonymouse1935

                                                  Haven't tried the Jalapeno, but for heat, I like the Death Valley Chipotle; current favorite, though is the Thai Spice (very gingery).

                                                  1. re: Striver

                                                    The supermarkets I scoured didn't have Death Valley Chipotle. Are they as hot as Utz's Red Hots? If they are, with the amazing crunch of Kettle -- nirvana.

                                                    Maybe Diamond Foods will make them more ubiquitous. They are amazing.