REVIEW: Lay’s Layers (Sour Cream & Onion and Three Cheese)

Lay s Layers Bags

As a part of the TIB community, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I enjoy, or well, would TRY any flavor release that the whackos in the Frito-Lay flavor labs concoct. That commitment hits nary a roadblock when I see they’ve come up with a new chip format! No, crisp! No, “crispy layered potato bites.” Alright, fine, that. Gimme it!

Lay’s Layers come in two crowd-pleasing and fairly standard flavors — Sour Cream & Onion and Three Cheese. I’m on board with the flavors since the “New” aspect of this snack is absolutely its extruded physical format. And yes, Frito-Lay does make Doritos 3D, which initially launched in the ’90s and made a nostalgic comeback last year. Does anyone remember the mini 3D Doritos snack tube? That thing blew my middle-school brain. However, those are corn-based and only contain a single plebian layer! Lay’s Layers are potato-based and have a whole second floor of crunch — an ENTIRELY new snack.

Lay s Layers Sour Cream  Onion Inside Bag

I decided to start with the Sour Cream & Onion flavor and was immediately unimpressed at the level of air in the bag but assumed this must be the case as they don’t want all those painstakingly created layers to get crushed. The next thing I noticed was how incredibly crunchy the layers are. When you munch on these, everyone within earshot will know. The texture reminded me of Bugles (not affiliated with Frito-Lay) but much lighter and broke down faster in the mouth, presumably because they are made from potato, not cornmeal. The Sour Cream & Onion flavor was light, but something was off about the aftertaste. I think it’s tough to deliver such an iconic flavor profile in a new format, but while I enjoyed eating these, the lingering flavor in my mouth was like onion-flavored potato powder. Not the best.

Lay s Layers Smooshed

I should also mention that I don’t believe I encountered a single one that maintained the perfectly circular shape as advertised on the front of the bag. It didn’t detract from the crunch delivery, but that little Pepsi logo shape is definitely not what these look like IRL.

Lay s Layers Three Cheese Inside Bag

Moving on to the Three Cheese, I was encouraged by the vibrant color and hoped this would indicate its cheese flavor level. I mean, if you’re going to claim you used three, it better taste cheesy. Much to my delight, the Three Cheese Layers were spot on, and the lingering potato taste wasn’t nearly as prevalent. They were crunchy, salty, cheesy, and reminded me very much of Cheddar & Sour Cream Ruffles but without so much oily residue. There was no mention of sour cream in the ingredient line, but I did catch buttermilk and onion powder, so maybe that’s where that profile came from? Either way, a winner in my book.

Lay s Layers Side by Side

Overall I’d say Frito Lay is on to something with this format. The added crunch layer delivers a new texture experience, but they have a bit of an aftertaste curveball to manage with the lingering dehydrated potato flavor. I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next flavor iterations.

Purchased Price: $3.99 each
Size: 4.75oz Bag
Purchased at: Mariano’s (a Kroger store)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Sour Cream & Onion), 9 out of 10 (Three Cheese)
Nutrition Facts: (22 pieces) Sour Cream & Onion – 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, and less than 1 gram of protein. Three Cheese – 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and less than 1 gram of protein.

24 thoughts to “REVIEW: Lay’s Layers (Sour Cream & Onion and Three Cheese)”

  1. Yes, Bugle-esque is exactly how I described them when I had the Three Cheese. I didn’t think they were bad, but I would rather have regular Ruffle’s Cheddar & Sour Cream. These layers come across to me as a type of ‘cheaper snack’ one might find at a convenience store under the name Tom’s or another off-brand. Just a meh for me.

    1. Yes I AGREE! What a disappointment!! From the moment you open the bag of the 3 cheese ones…The smell is overwhelming and disgusting!! But we’re not afraid so we tried them…I thought I was going to throw up! The taste/smell are unforgivable and the after taste is even worse!!! We won’t even entertain the sour cream ones!!!

  2. I agree that the sour cream and onion ones were very off and the after taste lingered for to long,will not buy again. I may try the cheese ones because I like the texture,I said the same thing about them being like Bugles but bugles are way better. I think they should make a BBQ flavor and it would go with the potatoe taste better

  3. I only tried the Three Cheese flavor and thought that they were excellent. I finished off a whole bag in less than 12 hours during a long drive. I was very impressed with the crunchy texture. The middle layer does add an extra dimension of crunchiness. I will buy them again.

  4. These have been around for a while in Japan. Yamazaki Biscuit Co makes them, called Aerial. Wonder if these are licensed or ripped off. Or as mentioned above, maybe the original is turtle chips!

  5. Gross…nasty!!!!!! Disgusting!!! Vile, and an abomination!!!????????? Didn’t like the texture and they tasted stale.

  6. I absolutely must try these. Glad I read the review because I probably would have grabbed the sour cream and onion instead of the cheese flavor.

  7. I’m glad I got the cheese flavor, I haven’t tried it yet but it’s sounding good. Thanks for the review.

  8. I tried the Sour Cream & onion Layers. Yuck! They reminded me of packing peanuts, tasteless and like Styrofoam. Can’t believe I paid $4.09 for something so nasty. When I opened them, I should have known they would taste bad by the smell.

  9. I just had the sour cream and onion ones and they were really bad. They were very off putting and probably will never buy them again ?

  10. Lay’s Three cheese is an excellent product on many levels. Priced way too high. Most likely will not purchase very often.

  11. I hated the sour cream and onion ones, I wound up throwing the bag out and not even wanting to try the Nacho Cheese ones. YUCK! Not worth the price at all! I wouldn’t even take them for free.

  12. So, I just stumbled upon this thread while in my local Albertson’s, preparing to purchase these because the Lay’s products were on sale at an AWESOME price! So, I bought one bag of each.
    Now, I’m home, and I’ve enjoyed a few from each bag. I totally agree with your general assessment of each flavor. I just wanna add 2 points…
    First, I think they resemble a texture kinda like the Andy Kapp fries combined with a Funyun “air-ness”, but in a very different shape, with the Bugle “ripples” throughout… KnowWhatI’mSaying?!?! I just wanted to kinda point that out.
    Second, the cheese is DEFINITELY superior to the Sour Cream & Onion, but there is SO MUCH potential for this to work so nice with another flavor. Maybe a BBQ reminiscent to the Kettle brand Bourbon BBQ, or at the other end of the spectrum, perhaps a SunChips kinda Garden Salsa thing? I don’t know.
    I loved em both. But there is potential for these things to be absolutely MIND BLOWING, if you’re in the proper state of mind.
    Just my 2 cents! Thanks!!!

  13. I bought the Layers Three Cheese and The Layers Sour Cream & Onion. I hated them! No one in the family would eat them….. Not even my dogs would eat them!

  14. Tried the “sour cream” flavor. Ate a few and immediately thought they tasted like the stuff my vacuum picks up off the floor. The rest of the bag went straight to the trash.

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