No party is complete without potato chips. This classic, simple party snack is everything you could want: salty, crispy, light, and easily eaten by the handful. So we had to ask: What top potato chip brand is the best for entertaining?
To see what potato chip brand reigns supreme for your game day needs, we scoured the streets of Manhattan to buy 10 bags of the top potato chip brands. Though we limited the flavors to simple, classic salt, we did not discriminate regarding whether the chips were kettle-cooked, ridged, or even stacked in a can. We simply bought 10 bags of highly popular potato crisps.
Then, we gathered 11 staff members of The Daily Meal to snack on the potato chips in a blind taste test. They were asked to rate the chips on a scale of 1–10 based on flavor, saltiness, mouthfeel, and party appeal. Click through to see how your favorite chip stacked up.
Munchos, a “light tasting crispy snack” from Frito Lay was far and away the most divisive chip on the table. Though some gave the Muncho high ratings and thought it was a fun, unique chip, most were disturbed by the cornflake-like appearance and odd aftertaste and mouthfeel. “Makes my tongue feel like it has sand on it,” one taster remarked.
“Meh” was the word used to describe Utz; more than a few reviewers left this exact remark. Though this Pennsylvania-based potato chip brand was praised for its light crisp by one reviewer, most thought that Utz lacked salt and overall flavor.
Kettle chips are a divisive product, we discovered. Many tasters thought this chip was too crunchy. “Literally hurt to chew,” one wrote. Others found Cape Cod’s chips to be greasy and have a slight burnt flavor. However, many agreed that these chips had a wonderful presentation, saying they would make a nice addition to any party spread.
Lay’s has a line of more “natural” chips, and this is their base product. While Classic Lay’s are fried in a mix of sunflower, corn, and canola oil, Simply Lay’s are cooked in expeller-pressed sunflower oil only. Though many praised the size of this chip, they were also described as bland and stale-tasting. “Tastes like the bag your mom forgot in the pantry for three years,” one reviewer wrote. Ouch!
“OK” was the word of the day when it came to Wise chips. Some thought these were very salty but were into all of that delicious sodium flavor. Others thought they just tasted like… a potato chip. “Basic” and “classic” were terms thrown around. And for a potato chip, that’s really all you need.
Thick and crunchy, Kettle’s organic chips with sea salt were another divisive chip. Some loved their crispiness and saltiness, while others thought the chip was too thick, overly crunchy, and seemed stale (despite being from a freshly-opened bag). However, one reviewer picked up on Kettle’s organic nature with a “more natural” comment. Astute!
According to our tasters, Trader Joe’s Ode to the Classic Chip is properly named. “Old school, simple” one commented, while another found the chip to have a “great salt and great fluff.” Generally speaking, our reviewers were pleased with the salt levels of this chip and commented they would serve this at their party.
The iconic vibes of the Classic Lay’s chip were felt in our taste test, with several tasters commenting that this was a “no-frills, classic” chip. People enjoyed the subtle saltiness and light crunch. “The perf potato chip,” one reviewer remarked.
Though some found Ruffles to be oily, their shape and texture was a huge hit. “Prime dipping chip,” one wrote, while another noted that “ridges are always 100.” When it comes to flavor, many reviewers remarked that Ruffles had the “right amount of salt,” which is a difficult balance to strike.
Though our potato chip taste test was a blind one, Pringles shape was instantly identifiable in its bowl. Though some reviewers remarked that, hey, no one ever actually serves this chip at a party, everyone loved the nostalgic, salty taste. “Pringles or die,” one reviewer wrote, and we have to agree.