Pringles, beware! The tennis ball manufacturer that cut a deal with you years ago is opening up its doors and Frito-Lay is coming in hot. Flamin’ Hot. It has shrunk several of its popular snacks to bite-size form, encased them in tubes, and the results are…mixed.
Nacho Cheese Doritos
I started with the classic Nacho Cheese Doritos and had high hopes because it’s hard to go wrong with this chip. I think some of the impetus behind this mini concept is the serving size and cuteness factor. People love Goldfish crackers and you can have 55 of them per serving. Wouldn’t it also be nice to have 55 tiny Doritos? It might be, if you could eat them that way. The serving here is 39 little chips, and this tube was a disaster. The contents looked like I’d just dumped out the remnants from a larger bag. There were some intact chips, but the majority had been broken to crumbs. Instead of being a new or adorable way to consume chips, I was left eating handfuls of shards or pouring them into my mouth from the tube.
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (39 chips) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of total sugars, and 2 grams of protein.
Cool Ranch Doritos
My Cool Ranch canister fared better. They weren’t all shattered from the start. After tasting some individually and also by the handful, I still found these underwhelming. It didn’t seem like they had enough of the seasoning applied to them. The label claims they have the “same BOLD flavor,” but I found them blander than a standard bag. I had this problem with the Nacho Cheese variety too, but it was overshadowed by the other flaws. So far, I’m not sure I understand this product line.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (39 chips) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of total sugars, and 2 grams of protein.
Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips
Here to confuse things more, are Sun Chips! These come in Harvest Cheddar or Garden Salsa. I like Sun Chips; they’re a welcome addition to the variety packs of lunch-size bags but will never be my first choice for a full-size option. I chose Harvest Cheddar and wondered how Garden Salsa also managed to sneak into the lineup. These mini chips have held their square shape better than the Doritos, although there are quite a few broken ones. They also seem appropriately seasoned and have come the closest so far to true miniatures of their inspiration chip. I think they’re a success, but do we need stamp-sized versions of two chips we only occasionally reach for to begin with?
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (29 chips) 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 2 grams of total sugars, and 2 grams of protein.
Cheddar and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
Things start to make more (or less?) sense when it comes to the Cheetos. Both Cheddar and Flamin’ Hot are cheese balls and aren’t masquerading as tiny regular Cheetos. On the one hand, a bunch of teeny Cheetos would have been cool, and I imagine they would have looked like a tube of Long John Silver’s crumblies. These two are the best tasting of the bunch though, so they’ve gotten something right there.
They have a thicker and very satisfying outside crunch that yields to a Cheeto-like interior. More regular Cheeto than puff, they get the texture right without being too airy or weird. There are 63 balls per serving and they fall somewhere between a normal cheese ball and a cocoa puff cereal size-wise. Looking at a bowl of these Flamin’ Hot ones, I can’t help but wonder if they should have put them in a box instead of a cylinder and called them cereal, à la Cinnafuego Toast Crunch. I won’t be surprised if this happens in three months.
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Cheddar), 9 out of 10 (Flamin’ Hot)
Nutrition Facts: (63 pieces) Flamin’ Hot – 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 260 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 0 grams of total sugars, and 1 gram of protein. Cheddar – 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 330 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 1 gram of total sugars, and 2 grams of protein.
Overall this mini lineup is a mixed bag, or should I say can. There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with them, but there isn’t anything that makes me want to buy them again either.
Purchased Price: $2.79 each
Size: 1 can
Purchased at: Mariano’s
4 thoughts to “REVIEW: Doritos Minis, Cheetos Minis, and Sun Chips Minis”
I’d appreciate a canister form the Cheetos, no bag to tear. It’s disappointing about the ranch Doritos, I never buy the bags but may if it were minis. Not crazy about sun chips but I might try them thanks to, or despite? your review. Thanks for the thoughtful impressions. All of you are so good at this!
i love the mini Sun Chips in the Munchies party mix. i’m stoked to find these and glad they held their shape better than the Doritos.
Would love to try.
If you ain’t first, you’re last.
The Flamin’ hot cheetos minis are amazing.
Reminds me of the time I thought I was on fire.