REVIEW: Lay’s Wavy Mango Salsa Potato Chips

Lay's Wavy Mango Salsa Potato Chips

If Lay’s Do Us a Flavor Cappuccino chips are the crazy flavor, Wasabi Ginger are the Asian flavor, and Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese are the prerequisite meat/cheese/God Bless America comfort food flavor, then what are the Wavy Mango Salsa chips?

A) A chip that renders actual salsa obsolete
B) A chip that packs some potent heat
C) An enjoyable mixture of sweet, spicy, and salty in an unlikely form

The answer?

None of the above.

If anything, the Mango Salsa chips represent the bastardization of the potato for the sake of a social media contest and the limits of even the most advanced forms of flavor alchemy.

The wavy-cut chips have a delightful aroma…if your idea of delightful is a pit bull throwing up daisies in the perfume store. The scent leaves you wondering if you’re about to ingest a fruit, a vegetable, or an exotic plant that might just be poisonous.

Lay's Wavy Mango Salsa Potato Chips Closeup

Unlike Lay’s Cappuccino chips, the Mango Salsa at least appear to have normal seasoning, with specks of red and dull green dotting the ridges in varying patterns. The initial taste of the powder ebbs and flows between unquestionably awful and modestly annoying. It depends on how much seasoning a chip has, as well as your tolerance for cilantro.

If the latter is nonexistent, then I imagine you’ll be feeling a lot like that aforementioned and hypothetical dog in the perfume store. While I usually maintain an agnosticism towards cilantro, the air of the powerful herb was even too much for me on some chips. It also wasn’t properly balanced by a piquant chili pepper flavor one would hope is present in an actual salsa. Instead, the seasoning has an aggressive lime and garlic flavor, followed by a perfume and vague fruit flavor which doesn’t scream tropical, much less mango.

Lay's Wavy Mango Salsa Potato Chips with Mango

Despite being in the flavor’s name, the mango is relegated to a supporting element in the salsa. I can say this with authority because I had ripe mango handy when I sampled the chips. Likewise, the tomato and red pepper flavor you’d expect to find playing important roles in a mango salsa were difficult to detect and nowhere near sweet enough. Instead, they mesh into an acidic and floral essence that will overwhelm taste buds.

Lacking real sweetness, the floral essence collides head-on with the earthy and robust aftertaste of the potato, which attempts to reclaim its natural potato flavor with a metaphorical uppercut against the acidity of the chip seasoning. Ultimately, the potato wins out, but not before a series of confused and competing flavor exchanges which fail to capitalize on a simultaneous salty-sweet synergy we’re all clamoring for.

I enjoyed the Lay’s Wavy Mango Salsa Potato Chips more than the Cappuccino chips because I can sort of envision myself actually dipping and eating these with an authentic mango salsa, as opposed to the Cappuccino chips, which I’m sure would just suck even more if dipped into coffee.

With that said, the Wavy Mango Salsa chips aren’t very good on their own, and prove that a fried Idaho potato is not the place to test chemistry concoctions of maltodextrin and artificial mango flavor.

Next time Lay’s should “Do Us a Flavor” and narrow submissions to taste sensations that actually work.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 oz/about 15 chips – 150 calories, 90 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 330 milligrams of potassium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Lay’s Wavy Mango Salsa Potato Chips
Purchased Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Size: 9.5 oz bag
Purchased at: Harris Teeter
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Wavy chips have excellent crunch. Good potato aftertaste when you get past the seasoning. Might be tasty when dipped into actual mango salsa.
Cons: Poor execution of tropical mango sweetness. Lacks a spicy element. Seasoning is dominated too much by herbal and acidic flavors. Ruining a perfectly good potato. Dog vomit.

35 thoughts to “REVIEW: Lay’s Wavy Mango Salsa Potato Chips”

  1. The wasabi ginger ones are AMAZING and should win, but we all know anything with bacon in the name is going to win. The wasabi one may be some of the best potato chips I’ve ever had. Could use it a little bit spicier, but still very flavorful.

  2. The cappuccino ones are surprisingly not bad. The flavor goes away really quickly, though.

  3. I agree with Dave about the Wasabi Ginger. These Mango Salsa chips are HORRIBLE. I couldn’t even finish eating one, I had to spit it out and then I had the vomit flavor stuck on my tongue all night.

      1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks they tasted like vomit. Worst chips I’ve ever eaten. Lays ls playing a practical joke on us with these I believe

  4. BASTARDIZATION OF THE POTATO! I deeply love that phrase.

    I guess you’re one of the people for whom cilantro tastes like soap? I’m halfway tempted to try these because cilantro tastes like an herb to me… but then I reread the liveliest bits of the review and think, “maybe not.”

    Ideally, somebody would hand me one (1) potato chip to try without requiring further commitment.

  5. The mango ends up on your fingers. I can’t wait to find the Wasabi Ginger ones. The cappuccino ones were good for a coffee-flavored chip, but definitely not something to zone out and eat the whole bag at once.

  6. i can’t believe how horrible these were. to me they tasted like fruit flavored gum, but in a chip… if that makes sense

    loved the wasabi ginger chips! after checking out a few places i found them at target & they were worth the hunt. yum!

    1. I also thought the chips taste like fruit flavored gum. Overly sweet for my taste and not enough salsa flavor. However, since they are chips, the bag has been finished… oops, guess they weren’t that bad

  7. Canada just announced their flavours for this years contest which kind of echo the American contest:
    Bacon Poutine, Cinnamon Bun, Wavy Lays Jalapeno Mac N Cheese,and Kettle Cooked Tzatziki.

  8. The Mango Salsa’s I was looking forward to the most this year, one, because I love Mango Salsa, and two, because I love Wavy Lays. I am glad not to have spent money on these, as I was offered to try them from a friend, and damn are they horrible. Not a fan of way too much seasoning on a chip, and these fit that bill. But worse is that the combination of the seasoning just make for a completely unappealing chip, a huge waste of the Wavy Lays. Guess I’ll stick to plain and simple lightly salted.

  9. We tried these this past weekend. The cashier at Target saw we were purchasing them and said how much she loved them. We got in the car and opened the bag, but none of us liked them at all. Even my young son, who loves chips, decided not to have more than two of them.

  10. I also thought the chips taste like fruit flavored gum. Overly sweet for my taste and not enough salsa flavor. However, since they are chips, the bag has been finished… oops, guess they weren’t that bad

  11. Yeah, not a fan of any of these new flavors. I’m glad for this site so I won’t waste my money, that would really tick me off.

  12. Sad that I submitted Mango Habanero in the first Lay’s Flavor contest, and they ignored me for Chicken & Waffles flavor. And now they put out this abomination because they’re too much of wusses to go the sweet & spicy route.

    For this reason, I don’t eat Lay’s anymore. I’m moving to Colorado in a few days which means easy access to Boulder Canyon chips anyway.

  13. These are my least favorite so far… I tried all except the wasabi ones, which I know I will not be able to tolerate.
    Cappuccino beats these chips easily.
    Based on in stock levels I have seen, and my personal opinion, bacon mac and cheese runs away with this one in a laugher.

  14. I actually liked these quite a bit! They had a strong mango taste. I think it’s definitely a love or hate flavor though.

  15. The mango salsa chips sounds like a good idea, but I must say this idea for a chip is an EPIC FAIL! All 6 people in our office tasted this awful experiment, all 6 people failed to finish one chip. Terrible tasting chip! Like most opinions, I too tasted a fruit flavored gum. We dumped the bag out back of our office in the woods, at least the local wildlife liked them.

  16. Actually these are the best of the bunch!
    The worst are the capp ones – this coming from a coffee addict.

    The 2nd worst are bac/mac as they taste nothing like either.

    The wasabi ginger are on the bland side too because they are not hot at all.

    These mango salsa are not caliente nor sweet but a nice midway & apparently consumers in our region feel same as I can’t find them anywhere on the shelves yet TONS of wasabit & capp…the bac/mac no doubt snarfed up by folks thinking they’ll be true to name.

  17. I don’t know why anyone would speak badly about anyone’s chips unless they were just explaining in words about why they disliked the chips and how it personally tasted to them. But to go as far as saying things like the B-word on the internet and other things that are mean and confusing sentences so personally driven out of spite it makes me really confused. I hope that the author would rewrite how he felt in a more understandable way instead of saying things like this chip “sucks” that just isn’t normal to cut something down like that.
    I never really tasted the vomit feeling people were talking about when describing the chip and actually really enjoy the fruity flavor (even though it lacks the salsa aspect) and eat a bag with great enjoyment.

  18. Mango salsa are the best just bought 2 bags I can’t explain the taste but it make me happy just the best in my opinion

  19. Oh man, I bought these after reading your recommendation and they were just awful. The mango flavor was too strong.

  20. Limited Edition? NOOOO! Keep them, they’re good. Just to eat, sure, but also crushed, atop a casserole that called for plain ruffled chips, adds an extra zip.

  21. They should definitely create a better blend between the sweet and salty. There also needs to be some other flavors in there because the mango over powers the salsa too much. The aromatic quality is not even close to what I would like them to be like. I think they could tweak the recipe just a little and have a favorite.

  22. We LOVED the mango salsa chips. To us, they have been our favorite flavor of all that have been produced so far (it’s now August of 2018). We wish they are still available. If you don’t like them, don’t buy them, just leave them for us.

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