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Newest trend, bizarre flavored Potato chips. Why mess with a good thing?

I have started to see some new and quite bizarre flavors of chips in the grocery store lately, including "Chicken and Waffles" and "Cheeseburger"
I have to start by asking myself, WHY? WHat is so wrong with the perfection that is a lightly salted deep fried sliver of a spud? I love potato chips, and admit they are a vice of mine, but I have to say, I cannot stand these new trends in flavor. Give me a bag of kettle cooked lightly salted crisps and I am in junk food heaven (especially with a good glass of red wine while perusing the internet) Has anyone else seen or tried these abominations? I tried a cheeseburger Pringle and a Chicken and Waffle Lays, and I have to say both were disgusting. The Pringles tasted like overly salted chemical tasting dried out crusts of what might be a cheeseburger to the palate of a toddler or drunken college student, but to me it was just horrible, and one taste was enough to leave me unwilling to eat a cheeseburger for a while. The Lays tasted like a salted maple syrup chip, no hint of chicken in these chips. Has anyone else dared to try some of the more off putting and bizarre flavors?

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  1. But where do we draw the "bizarre" line? I have not tried the Chicken and Waffle or Cheeseburger stuff, but I love the Utz Crab Chips, and the Zapp's Cajun Crawtators. Is that too bizarre?

    5 Replies
      1. re: gryphonskeeper

        There, you see? Bizarre is very subjective.

      2. re: Cheez62

        Oh -- I get a bag of UTZ Crab and a bag of UTZ Salt 'n' Vinegar.

        And combine them.

        The sum is greater than its parts.

        I also have a HUUUUGE 10L/42C Tupperware Mega Thatsa Bowl . For causal sports parties, I'll mix 2 bags crab, 2 bags S'n'V, and 1 bag Hot.

        1. re: Cheez62

          Just making it clear that Utz crab chips don't contain crab. They do contain the seasoning mix used to flavor crabs when steaming them, a mix that can be purchased as Old Bay.

          1. re: mariab

            Holy eff! I was just in PA, if I knew there were CRAB UTZ I would have bought several bags! The more you know.....

        2. Well, I think they have had funky flavors overseas for a long time already. And probably want to compete with Doritos and Pringles. We've had sour cream & onion, barbecue, cheddar, etc. for awhile.

          1. Snyder's of Hanover has had unusual flavors for decades, so it's far from a new development. Why are the bigger names doing it? Shelf space. The more shelf space they can grab, the more likely you'll buy their offerings.

            1. I was underwhelmed by Lay's Sriracha and the Cheesy Garlic Bread chips. Much rather have plain potato chips or, my favorite, salt and vinegar (represent!).

              1 Reply
              1. The vast majority of flavored chips suck, but some of them actually sound good, so I try them. Once, anyway. My most recent foray into this area was Herr's Loaded Baked Potato Chips. The first chip is delish. Really does taste like a baked pertata. But from there it is quickly downhill. Your tastebuds no longer taste anything remotely similar to a baked spud, but rather a blizzard of salt.

                Most flavored potato chips are like that. Much better in theory than reality.

                The exceptions are crab chips, some salt and vineagar chips, some sour cream and onion chips, and the occasional BBQ chip. Poore Brothers Habanero chips absolutely rock, as do their Steak and Onion chips, which are now extinct. In general, though, I think it's definitely best to stick with plain ol' pertata chips.

                1. I'm still waiting for Lays to make a Cuttlefish flavored chip.

                  tick tick tick ...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    The Boulder Chip Company's Cayman Island Sea Urchin and Guava Chips are to die for.

                  2. I've always liked shrimp chips. They're an Asian thing and only to be found in Asian stores and well-stocked beverage stores.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Sharuf

                      I love those too.

                      But they don't taste like shrimp to me. Not sure I can describe their taste, but it's not shrimp -- at least not to me.

                      A good jolt of umami nonetheless.

                      1. re: Sharuf

                        I recently bought some shrimp 'chips' (they were shaped like french fries and made in California) and while they were crunchy and I liked them, I could detect absolutely zero shrimp flavor. The same manugacturer makes green pea 'chips' that are shaped like pea pods and they actually taste like peas. I believe they are baked so they must be good for you.

                        1. re: Sharuf

                          I love those shrimp crisps too. I used to be able to make them fresh at home. Those other new chips like the lays chicken and waffles were gross. Nasty and crappy tasting.

                          1. re: BarbaraC28

                            Love shrimp chips, the best I ever had was at a friend's wedding. Her relatives bought it all the way from Vietnam, and deep fried it themselves for the wedding buffet. Delicious....

                            I grew up in Canada, Ketchup, pickles, BBQ Chicken chips were the norm. When I moved down to California 13 years ago, it took me a while to notice that those flavors aren't available down here.

                            I was visiting Hong Kong, and notice some interesting flavor chips...including Thousand Island Dressing (strangely popular)

                          2. +1. Over the years I have tasted many different varieties of flavored chips at parties and at the office. Never liked any of them for more than 2 or 3 chips-worth. Maybe this is a good thing (built in portion control)?

                            Unfortunately, I do love me some Ruffles (plain, of course).

                            1. The only one that I like is the dill pickle chips. They taste more dill and less pickle.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: BarbaraC28

                                I dug the Walker's Roast Beef & Pickle flavor, but I think that was from twelve years ago.

                                Also, I noticed dill-seasoning on sunflower seeds in Omaha...very salty, but nice idea.

                                If you want some curious flavors, try Lay's in China. One was lobster and cheese, another lemon tea, yet another was blueberry.

                                1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                  Yep-- chips came in "Styles"-- COOL included cucumber and blueberry; a WARM was Spicy Thai Shrimp

                              2. Frankly, it boils down to personal taste.

                                Just because you hate something doesn't mean there aren't a gazillion others who love it.

                                1. The Lays thing was a big marketing campaign aimed at giving them an "edge". it was a big contest and the "winners" got their own chips and Lays got the press and (hopefully) market share.

                                  Flavored potato chips have been around forever and what is "strange" to one person is awesome and/or normal to another.

                                  I used to dream of trips to vist my husband family solely to get Utz crab chips, now widely available, but back then (20 years ago) they were a novelty to an outsider.

                                  Living overseas in the '80s I loved trying all the "weird" flavored chips (crisps) I could find in England and in Sweden.

                                  And then there are the ones my niece brought back from Japan! I had no idea what the flavors were and most were gross but the family she lived with were addicted to them. Weird to me, normal to them…

                                  And who can forget my favorite cracker of all times I had as a kid in the '60's/'70's- "chicken in a biskit"!

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: foodieX2

                                    Market Basket in NH has crab chips, and chicken in a biscuit crackers.

                                    1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                      The crab ship are widely available now a days, you can find them anywhere.

                                      As for the crackers if they are "in a biscuit" I don't want 'em! they gotta be in "a biskit"! LOL

                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                        but oh, I love those nasty little crackers -- they were my grandmother's favorite, so they're attached to good memories, too.

                                        1. re: foodieX2

                                          I assume you mean crap "chip." At any rate, it is not available in west Texas, much to my chagrin.

                                    2. I've seen weird flavours for more than a decade. I tend not to care for them, not because of the novelty, because I find most of them tend to taste the same, and not very good.

                                      I figure they start with a few base flavours - cheesy, meaty, tomatoey, spicy, ocean. Then they combine them in various ways and call them new flavours - cheesy + spicy + tomatoesy = loaded nachos. Meaty + ocean = hotpot, and so on. But they all taste muddy and indistinct.

                                      The chicken and waffle flavour comes from a contest, I think, where customers proposed and voted on the new varieties. Yes, democracy at work.

                                      From a company perspective, creating new versions of an existing product is a well established process - you try to get existing customers to expand their use of your product (by trying new flavours) rather than coming up with a new brand. The same thing explains Crystal Pepsi, coconut M&Ms, almond snickers, etc.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                        Haven't tried the coconut M&Ms - but I know I will love them.

                                        Haven't tried almond snickers either - but I bet they are really good.

                                        I try to stay away from candy - love it but the more I eat it the more I want it.

                                        I love chips - potato chips and corn type chips. Haven't tried the new Lay's flavors - but I would like to try the Sriracha chips - the others don't sound appealing to me.

                                        Yes, it was a contest to raise interest in Lay's potato chips - so what?

                                        1. re: Jeanne

                                          Almond Snickers are pretty much just Mars Bars, which they don't make/sell in the US anymore.

                                          1. re: Violatp

                                            You're right, the U.S. version of the Mars bar was discontinued about ten years ago and 'replaced' by the Snickers Almond. However, the Mars bar was reintroduced last year but is available only at Walmart, (at least that's what Wikipedia says). The Mars bar everywhere outside the U.S. is the same as a Milky Way.

                                            1. re: John E.

                                              I still don't know why they stopped it. Was it because there was confusion over the non-US Mars bar being a different thing?


                                              1. re: Violatp

                                                I am sure it was because of falling sales. I remember eating them as a kid, but Snickers were much preferred.

                                                Years ago when the whole 'deep-fried Mars bar' thing came out of the UK was the first time I realised that the U.S. Mars bar was different from everywhere else. What happened is that the son of the Mars founder went to England and copied his father's candy bar and called it something different. Frank Mars (father) invented the Milky Way in Minnesota. Forrest (son) started making the Mars bar in England in 1932. Isn't Wikipedia helpful somethimes?

                                                1. re: John E.

                                                  Since I've never liked peanuts, I never liked Snickers. Mars Bar was always my choice. Well, these days it's better that I don't eat any of them anyway!

                                      2. Europe and the UK have had unusual (to the American palate) chips for decades.

                                        Shrimp/prawn, roasted chicken with thyme, grilled steak, various sausages, sweet chili, chili (like Texas chili), mustard, bolognaise (ever popular), paprika, onions, smoked ham, shallots, pesto, peanut, curry, and truffle -- not to mention the promotional, limited-time flavors. All of these are regular flavors produced by European companies -- not just Lay's, and none of these are Pringles.

                                        Some of them are really tasty, some of them are truly weir.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                          There are some odd flavours here in the UK.
                                          I don't like ketchup flavour Walkers crisps but do like them if they are Snaps. Same thing with prawn cocktails Walkers and Skips.It depends on the style of crisp.

                                          I used to work for a food company and we got sent some vanilla
                                          ice cream flavour Monster Munch to try. They were awful and never made it to market.Odd that!

                                          1. re: Paprikaboy

                                            Yuck, yuck, yuck - can't imagine why those would fail!

                                            I have a real weakness for Walker's prawn cocktail crisps -- they're weird, but I like them.

                                            My colleagues used to laugh that I would land at Manchester or Gatwick for work, and stop on my way to the hire-car desk to buy a Red Bull (my preferred anti-jet-lag cure), a Crunchie bar, and a bag of prawn crisps. (but the Crunchie and the Red Bull were consumed together, the crisps were for later)

                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                              I'm a huge Sriracha fan, and when I heard about the Lay's Sriracha, couldn't wait to tear open a bag. How disappointing......I'd rather grab a plain chip & squirt the Sriracha on it.

                                              Love Dill Pickle chips. Other than that, I'll stick to Nacho Cheese Doritoes - I'll be in love with those forever.

                                          2. re: sunshine842

                                            I quite like Walkers Roast Chicken crisps.

                                            I have had Ham and Pickle potato chips in Japan, which aren't very good. Also have had kiwi flavor potato chips in China, which are also not good.

                                          3. Several years ago I spent some time in eastern Europe and I thought the chicken flavored potato chips were weird. Now, not so much. I kind of like the Steak & Onion flavored chips but they invariably have too much salt for my liking.

                                            Only recently did I become aware of the latest Lay's Potato Chips flavor offerings. The chicken & waffle flavor sounds interesting. Yesterday I went to the store looking for these new chips. Apparently, Lay's is finished with this promotion because I could not find them. I walked up and down the chip aisle seeing if anything else would strike my fancy. I am pleased to reveal that I did not buy a single bag of chips of any kind or any flavor (much as I wished to). I am working hard to keep a low-carb, low-snack diet and have dropped 25 pounds so I suppose Lay's was doing me a favor by ending that particular promotion.

                                            I recently became aware of the potato 'chips' that are shaped like hollow french fries and are potato, tomato, spinach flavored. I can't really taste the tomato and spinach, but they taste good and the bag says 30% less fat than regular chips. I don't think they are baked however.

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: John E.

                                              I've been actively looking for the new Lay's flavors for weeks, and the only one I've seen is the one I'm least-interested in trying, Sriracha. I have to admit I'm intrigued by Chicken and Waffles -- I ate a delicious version of the real dish yesterday, and I generally like maple-flavored anything.

                                              1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                                I could find only the Sriracha one as well (not interested; I was looking for Cheesy Garlic Bread). None at Target and when I asked about them at the checkout the teenaged cashier said they had stocked them about a month ago and thought they would not be getting them back. He also told me he had tried all 3 flavors and that I wasn't missing anything. Not a ringing endorsment when you can't get even a teenager to get excited about them

                                                1. re: Pwmfan

                                                  I've looked for them at multiple Publix, Target, Walgreen's, CVS, and 7-11 in two different states, about as far across the country from each other as you can get, with no luck. Oh well, I'll probably be better off if I never find them. :)

                                                  1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                                    I went to their website and it says they are being sold until May 4th but apparently only in select markets. What's funny is that I frequently see a Frito-Lay guy restocking shelves at convenience stores and I thought I would ask one of them. Of course, just like cops, there is never one of those guys around when you need 'em.

                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                      I FINALLY found the Lay's Chicken and Waffles and Cheesy Garlic Bread chips today, OF COURSE on a week when Publix isn't running a Buy One, Get One Free deal on Lay's. Bought them anyway, because I've never seen them before and probably never will again.

                                                      Only tried Chicken and Waffles so far. They taste and smell a bit like maple syrup with unidentifiable spices (and of course salt). I like them, but they don't come close to my favorite Lay's flavor, Garden Tomato and Basil, which I could eat by the bag.

                                                      1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                                        I found them at a local Safeway (SF Bay Area) but I wish I hadn't! The Chicken & Waffles chips are just awful (and I love Chicken & Waffles). I had high hopes....

                                                        1. re: RWCFoodie

                                                          A coworker bought a bag, ate a couple chips, left the rest on the breakroom table. After two days, someone threw the rest out. Another ringing endorsement!

                                                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                            My wife and I both loved the Chicken and Waffles chips, and she usually hates all flavored potato chips. I didn't care for the Cheesy Garlic Bread ones, though.

                                            2. Agree. But then, I tend to like everything 'Plain'.

                                              1. In the 70's Hostess tried fruit flavoured chips, orange, grape and cherry. They lasted a couple of months because they were so vile. Just thinking about them makes me queasy

                                                1. Japan succeeds in this category too, IMO. Garlic butter, buttered corn, wasabi, (umeboshi)- and they taste as advertised, that's where I give 'em more credit.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                    garlic butter? Probably better they're not available for me to buy. That sounds like some pretty serious feedbag snacking

                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                      Why have I never thought of dipping chips in garlic butter?

                                                    2. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                      I would definitely break my no flavored chip rule to try a chip that really tasted like garlic butter

                                                    3. How about seaweed-flavored chips? Plain seaweed, or eel-seaweed? Blueberry-hazelnut?

                                                      1. Come to think of it, perhaps the best pertata chips I've ever eaten were some off brand made in Grants, New Mexico that I purchased at a li'l convenience store in Carizozo, New Mexico. They were coated with just the right amount of powdered New Mexico red chile. If I'd known how good they were gonna be, I'd have bought every sack in the store, and I crap thee not.

                                                        8 Replies
                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                          If you're ever down around New Orleans, find yourself a bag of Zapp's Cajun Crawtators. You might buy every sack in the store.

                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                            I think I've seen these at my World Market and wondered about them. What's the flavor (crawdads)?

                                                            1. re: Pwmfan

                                                              More of a general Cajun seasoning used for seafood boils -- I'd have to compare it to a spicier version of Old Bay.

                                                              I think Zapp's makes the best potato chips anywhere. The plain ones are incredible, and all the flavors are great too. I like the Creole Tomato and Voodoo flavors best, but they are all good. Unfortunately, the only places I ever find them are World Market, one expensive little gourmet grocery store, and occasionally (if I'm lucky), Big Lots.

                                                              1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                                                The plain ones were on the clearance shelf. Hope that doesn't mean they are dropping them because they are great.

                                                                1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                  Oh yeah, the Zapp's Cajun Dill - YUM-O!!!

                                                                2. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                                                  I bought a sack o' Zapp's (don't remember the flavor) at Big Lots and absolutely loved 'em. Then I bought a sack o' the Voodoo flavor in World Market and found them seriously wanting.

                                                                3. re: Pwmfan

                                                                  like Zatarain's shrimp spice. Tasty. It's been a while, but I don't remember any particular crawfish or shrimp flavor that stands out.

                                                                  You can buy 'em online, too http://www.zapps.com/

                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                    Zapp's.....I get several bags for the ride home from New Orleans every trip. The Crawtaters are where it's at!

                                                            2. I remember ketchup chips as a kid. Stained the fingers. Vile stuff

                                                              1. Compared to the "let's put pumpkin in everything" trend, this is easy.

                                                                When the makers of Pringles decided to put pumpkin spice in their fall line up it was absolutely horrible tasting. Here it is being sold as "limited edition" Ebay bidding:

                                                                and yet, there's a market for everything...

                                                                1. Let's not forget that there is a 1 million dollar prize for the winner of this Lay's campaign.


                                                                  1. It's not April 1st so I'll assume this is real.
                                                                    They are bringing shamrock and sour cream flavour crisps out in the UK in time for St. Patricks day.


                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Paprikaboy

                                                                      I had no idea shamrocks were edible.

                                                                    2. You've clearly never had Utz Crab Chips. They're Old Bayriffic. Also, Zapp's Cajun Crawtators are pretty awesome, as is their obscenely flavorful Voodoo Chips, which smack of BBQ, salt & vinegar, cheese, and whoknowswhatelse.

                                                                      The Japanese have had curry flavored chips for decades along with a whole host of other flavors. America MUST not allow a bizarre flavored potato chip gap.

                                                                      1. Normally I'm a plain salted chip person but I do like some flavors. Route 11 Dill Pickle and Chesapeake Crab come to mind. Salt and pepper chips are a great too. I'll give them a fair shake.

                                                                        1. I don't think that's a "trend" at all. Potato chip makers have been trying new flavors for decades. Sometimes they succeed and become part of the ongoing line-up and sometimes they fail and are never heard from again.

                                                                          Just a couple of years ago one of the potato chip companies was holding a similar competition for new flavors -- chicken and waffles doesn't sound nearly as bizarre as Aztec chocolate: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/342377

                                                                          1. The US is behind the curve on this one: Canada has had dill pickle and ketchup flavored potato chips for years. The UK has an even wider variety, including various curry flavors.

                                                                            We once brought back some roast beef flavored Pringles and dutifully declared them to Customs, only to be informed that in no way did Pringles qualify as a food!

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: tardigrade


                                                                              Just wait for the Toad in a Hole Ruffles!

                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                Lancashire hot pot, cockaleekie, and eel pie for me!

                                                                              2. re: tardigrade

                                                                                The US has had dill pickle potato chips off and on for years. Tim's Cascade used to make them but discontinued them.

                                                                              3. I just finished the Cheeseburger flavored Pringles. The taste is vaguely reminiscent of pickle on a McD's burger and isn't all that bad. I've also tried the other new flavors; chicken and waffle and cheesy garlic bread. In the former, there is a faint waffle taste and I can't discern the chicken while the latter is not very cheesy or garlicky but the taste is tolerable. All chip flavors are primarily chemicals that are supposed to duplicate the real thing but fall miserably short while remaining somewhat edible.

                                                                                1. My local Big Lots has been stocking Shearer's pertata chips lately, and they are marvelous. Recently snagged a bag--somewhat reluctantly--of their Chicago Hot Dog flavored chips. And bah gum if they're not danged good! They have a fairly pronounced mustard flavor.

                                                                                  1. China has some mysterious additions. Blueberry, lime and cheese lobster, and if I recall correctly, a lemon iced tea.

                                                                                    I was introduced to non-USA standard varieties in the UK (Walker's is one brand). My favorite to this day might be the roast beef and pickle I had in the '90s.