REVIEW: Baked Lay’s Buffalo Chicken Sandwich Potato Crisps

Baked Lay’s Buffalo Chicken Sandwich Potato Crisps are the first Baked Lay’s product I truly enjoyed and want more of after finishing the bag. It’s a monumental moment in my snacking history!

I’ve had other Baked Lay’s products over the years, but beyond the original Baked Lay’s Potato Crisps, I can’t remember what they were, so they must’ve not been that great, right? But I’ll definitely remember these limited time only crisps long after they’re gone because they’re the best tasting Baked Lay’s product I’ve ever had.

What were these called again?

The graphics on the packaging show a crispy chicken sandwich topped with Buffalo sauce, pickles, and cheese. All of those ingredients are present at different levels here. To be honest, adding cheese flavoring seems odd for a Buffalo chicken sandwich. Blue cheese or ranch makes more sense, and the cheese is the least noticeable and gets overpowered by the hot sauce and pickle flavors most of the time. I expected a more robust vinegar tang from the Buffalo seasoning, but it tastes like it gets most of its tang from the pickle flavoring. There’s also a bit of chicken/grease flavor that’s easy to miss. While the Buffalo seasoning doesn’t have the same flavor punch or heat as the wing sauce, when combined with the pickle seasoning, they help make the usually unexciting crisp delicious.

However, the thing with these is that the flavor isn’t consistent. Only one side appears seasoned, and the only way the other side gets any seasoning is by rubbing itself with the other chips in the bag like they’re on a crowded dance floor. So I had to be aware of which side was hitting my tongue, which is not optimal when dealing with my tried and true method of shoving food mindlessly into my mouth.

Oh, speaking of shoving chips into my maw, I enjoyed these so much that I almost ate the entire bag in one sitting. I wish this bag was like a pint of Halo Top, and I could eat the whole thing without guilt. Sure, they have 65 percent less fat than regular potato chips, but this entire 6.25-ounce bag has 720 calories, so I’m feeling a bit guilty right now.

If you hate Baked Lay’s Potato Crisps because of their flavor or because they look, feel, and seem to soak saliva like dehydrated sponges, I’m not sure the spicy and tangy taste of these Buffalo chicken sandwich-flavored crisps is enough to change your mind or saliva gland’s opinion.

Purchased Price: $2.71 (on sale)
Size: 6.25 oz bag
Purchased at: Longs Drugs
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 17 chips) 120 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar (including 2 grams of added sugar), and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Lay’s Sweet & Salty Dipped Clusters

Lay s Sweet  Salty Dipped Clusters Bag

Sweet and salty may be a time-honored flavor combination, but it truly shines during the winter holidays. After all, this is the time we drizzle cranberry sauce over savory meat and vegetable side dishes. We hoard peanut brittle in tins. We melt Rolos on top of pretzel snaps, crown them with M&M’s, and devour them before even arriving at the holiday cookie exchange. Maybe it is just the sheen of the season, but something about these traditions really elevates the sweet-and-salty pairing in a way no other time of year can claim.

Lay s Sweet  Salty Dipped Clusters 2

Lay’s Sweet & Salty Dipped Clusters takes the timeless flavor combination and adds holiday sprinkles on top —- literally. Described on the package as a “dipped potato snack,” the bite-sized, bell-shaped clusters consist of potato chip pieces, crisped rice, almond bits, milk chocolate coating, and red and green nonpareils.

Lay s Sweet  Salty Dipped Clusters 6

The salty body of each cluster contains the potato chips, crisped rice, and almonds. The potato chip flavor dominates, but the other ingredients contribute to the snack’s intense crunchiness. The almonds provide a hint of nutty flavor, but I’m not sure I would have been able to identify almonds as an ingredient. Because the pieces are ground into such small flecks, they are difficult to detect. Like the holiday spirit itself or that one relative who sends a mildly insulting greeting card every year in lieu of visiting, the almonds are not seen, but their presence is still very much felt.

Lay s Sweet  Salty Dipped Clusters 4

The pieces are packed tightly together in each cluster, which also contributes to their crunchy texture. The snacks almost remind me of a savory Rice Krispies Treat, although without the marshmallow binding.

Lay s Sweet  Salty Dipped Clusters 3

The sweet flavor instead comes from the milk chocolate, which partially covers each cluster. (The festive sprinkles on top don’t contribute much taste or texture, but they are pretty nonetheless.) The chocolate is the perfect smooth, sweet complement to the salty, crunchy cluster. Together, the components make a delicious small treat that is easy to pop into your mouth during holiday movie marathons. The 5-ounce bag is on the small side, so larger appetites should plan accordingly.

Lay s Sweet  Salty Dipped Clusters 5

As I made my way further into the bag, I noticed not every cluster was uniform in terms of shape, chocolate distribution, and sprinkle amount. I prefer the clusters that have a little more chocolate to balance out the rest of the salty snack, but other taste buds may beg to differ. The less aesthetically-pleasing clusters are obviously still delicious, but less festive. This might only present an issue if you value perfect presentation for holiday gatherings. Or did you eat all the Rolo pretzels and are secretly planning to pass off Lay’s Sweet & Salty Dipped Clusters as a homemade treat at the cookie exchange?

I won’t tell anyone if you save a bag for me.

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 5 oz bag (141.7 g)
Purchased at: Target.com
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 6 pieces) 140 calories, 8 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Lay’s Kettle Cooked Fritos Chili Cheese Potato Chips

Lay s Kettle Cooked Fritos Chili Cheese Potato Chips Bag

After polling the general public for over half a decade and creating almost every flavor iteration imaginable, Frito-Lay seems to have decided to start leaning on its heavy hitters. Last year’s inter-brand crossovers brought us Doritos, Cheetos, and Funyuns flavored potato chips. This year, they’ve come back, but they also brought along the new Lay’s Kettle Cooked Fritos Chili Cheese Flavored Potato Chips. What a mouthful, literally and figuratively.

Lay s Kettle Cooked Fritos Chili Cheese Potato Chips Closeup

So how are they?

They’re very accurate. One of the fun parts of these flavor extensions is that because they’re all in the same brand “family,” we get the actual seasoning blends but on a different chip base. Having the EXACT same seasoning is part of the enjoyment.

The cheese flavor is apparent right away and not too overwhelming. The chili seasoning and cumin flavors come up quickly, especially when munching on over-seasoned chips. Before long, I got that feeling in the back of my throat as if I’d just done the cinnamon challenge but grabbed the wrong spice jar, which ended up being smoky chili powder.

It’s possible the corn chip sweetness balances this seasoning better than kettle chips because these get pretty salty pretty fast. It’s almost to the point that they’re a self-regulated serving size kind of snack. But I think the super high chili flavor is an identifying characteristic of Chili Cheese Fritos, so I wasn’t bothered by this.

Also, the significant crunchiness of a kettle chip was the right pairing for such a potent seasoning blend. I think the Kettle Cooked Chips are the far superior chip format among all that Frito-Lay offers, especially when trying to translate a flavor generally found on a uniquely crunchy and savory corn chip. Regular Lay’s just weren’t going to get the job done here.

Lay s Kettle Cooked Fritos Chili Cheese Potato Chips Bowl

Overall, I enjoyed these arguably over-seasoned chips. The chili cheese flavor on the kettle chip base is strong but recognizable. I wouldn’t be mad if they stick around for a while, and they also seem like a good fit for tailgates.

Purchased Price: $3.79
Size: 8 oz bag
Purchased at: Mariano’s
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 15 chips) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

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.

REVIEW: Lay’s Flavor Swap Cheetos, Cool Ranch Doritos, and Wavy Funyuns Potato Chips

Lay s Flavor Swap Bags

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.

Cheetos

Lay s Flavor Swap Cheetos Bags

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!

Lay s Flavor Swap Cheetos Swap

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.

Lay s Flavor Swap Cheetos Bowl

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

Lay s Flavor Swap Cool Ranch Doritos Bags

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.

Lay s Flavor Swap Cool Ranch Doritos Swap

Lay s Flavor Swap Cool Ranch Doritos Specks

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.

Lay s Flavor Swap Cool Ranch Doritos Bowl

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.

Funyuns

Lay s Flavor Swap Funyuns Bags

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.

Lay s Flavor Swap Funyuns Swap

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.

Lay s Flavor Swap Funyuns Bowl

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?!

Maybe.

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.