Looks like Frito-Lay is taking a cue from the entertainment industry and rebooting some of its classics.
Now before you start whining about your “ruined childhoods” or your disdain about swapping Chester Cheetah from corn to potato, just take a step back and admit that you’re intrigued. You know you are. You can’t tell me the entire idea of Frito-Lay Flavor Swaps isn’t exciting. I won’t believe you.
In my opinion, this is the most exciting thing it’s done in years. I was way more pumped to try these than the usual “Do Us a Flavor” releases. I mean, I already know I love the flavors. I’ve been eating them my entire life. My only question is, will said flavors translate in a potato chip form?
I figured the best way to attack the review was to tackle each flavor one at a time, then obviously compare them to the iconic snacks that inspired them.
First off, I’m shocked these weren’t kettle chips. Usually, when Frito-Lay does one of its gimmicky multi-chip rollouts, each style of chip is represented. I’d imagine most people think of the Crunchy Cheetos when they hear the name, so a crunchier chip would have made sense.
Whatever, I’m more of a puff guy anyway, so I’m fine with the decision to just make these Cheetos-flavored normal(?) chips. #PuffGang sound off in the comments!
Initially, these just had a generic cheese flavor. If you told me they were some kind of fancy “sharp” cheddar without showing me the bag, I wouldn’t have ever guessed “Cheetos.”
Once I tried them side by side with the actual Cheetos, I got it. I had to jog my flavor memory, but they definitely taste like Cheetos.
So yeah, they deliver. These chips taste like Cheetos dust, but they’re a little weaker. Of course, therein lies the problem – they taste like Cheetos dust, not necessarily Cheetos. More on that topic when I review the next flavor.
Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 2.63 oz bag
Purchased at: Wawa
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 17 Chips) 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.
Cool Ranch Doritos might be one of the ten greatest flavors to ever grace the Earth. How could they possibly mess this up?
Well, as it turns out when Cool Ranch dust isn’t on a triangular tortilla chip, it just kinda tastes like a remixed sour cream and onion. Actually, I’d say it’s more like 1/4 ranch and 3/4 sour cream and onion.
I think you could be fooled into thinking that’s what they are. The chips do have that classic Cool Ranch speckle to them, but it’s not nearly as caked-on as the Doritos you’re used to. It’s kind of a bummer.
I mean, once you know what they are, you’re definitely gonna taste the Cool Ranch, but these are more like a Diet Cool Ranch if that makes sense. These suffer from the same thing as the Cheetos chips – thin potato chips are not an ideal delivery system for these flavors.
To be fair, I’m accustomed to the norm, so that might be clouding my scoring. That being said, I just think this flavor needs the crisp of a tortilla chip to really shine.
Cheetos and Doritos are as much about texture as they are about flavor. Sure, I knew what I was getting into, but when you take away that key corn-based component from both of them, the flavors really don’t pop as much.
But look… it’s still Cool Ranch. Even if they lean sour cream, they’re still delicious. They’re just nowhere near the 10 out 10 Cool Ranch Doritos they’re mimicking.
Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: 7.25 oz bag
Purchased at: Dollar General
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 17 Chips) 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of total sugars, less than 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.
Now we’re talking!
For everything I just said about the texture of Cheetos and Doritos, Funyuns are the opposite for me. I love the flavor of Funyuns, but I absolutely hate the texture.
For all the crap Cap’n Crunch gets for shredding your palate, Funyuns should get double. They always taste stale and salty, so my mouth feels like the Sahara after chomping about seven rings.
These Funyuns-flavored chips are easily the best of the three, even though they probably have the most diminishing returns.
Whereas the Cheetos flavor bloomed as I went on, the onion flavor faded as I ate them, but Funyuns is the most lowkey flavor of the three, so it didn’t bother me. I ate the most of these in one sitting, and the first few chips were incredible.
The choice to make these wavy was also brilliant. Even though I don’t like the rings’ texture, I still appreciated a bit more crunch than the usual thin chips.
Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: 7.75 oz bag
Purchased at: Dollar General
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 15 Chips) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of total sugars, less than 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.
So, I have to say Funyuns was the overall victor here. Can’t say I expected that. Maybe if Cool Ranch and Cheetos were wavy or kettle chips, they would have won out, but I guess we’ll never know.
Don’t get me wrong, these are all good, and I love the Flavor Swap concept, but two of the three suffer from the old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” adage.
One thing that really excites me about this release is that we might be one step closer to finally getting Frito-Lay-flavored dusts in the spice aisle. I’ve been calling for that since I was a kid. If you can sprinkle a potato chip with Cool Ranch, I should be able to sprinkle a piece of chicken with it. Let me put Cheetos dust on my burgers! Is that too much to ask?!
In the meantime, check these out. You know you’re probably gonna anyway. Cheetos and Doritos can’t be beat, but apparently, Funyuns can.
If these do well, we might even get some more swaps in the future. Please, keep ruining my childhood.