By Mike Thayer
My name is Mike and I'm a chipaholic....... I always have some sort of bag of chips on hand. Sometimes it's tortilla chips, it might be a bag of BBQ potato chips, heck, it could be pork rinds, but most often it's a bag of wavy/ruffled potato chips..... THE best kind of potato chip for dipping! Those ridges, a.k.a., 'waves' are second to none when it comes to grabbing and holding onto that great dip!
So when it comes to chips, do you pay the premium price for the name brand?
If you do, you might think twice about doing so after reading this article.
I compared price, weight, the look, chip size, taste and the 'dip' factor..... Does the chip break apart in the dip more often than not?
Chip #1, the name brand - Ruffles:
This chip was almost always available in my house as a kid. Original Ruffles chips paired with a French Onion dip, what a great snack! And I'm talking about back in the day, long before all these 'flavored' chips like 'Jalapeno & Ranch' or 'Loaded Baked Potato' came along... These new renditions kind of take the dipping fun away, don't you think? But I digress....
Price: $4.29 for 9 ounces of chips
Breaking that price down it comes out to 47.6 cents per ounce. That may not sound like much but keep reading..... Check out the chip size, Ruffles has the smallest overall chip size of all. You would think in paying a premium for this chip, you would get the bigger chips, ideal for dipping...... Hmmmm.... For the taste and dip factor, I'll summarize all three chip brands in a bit.
Chip #2, store brand - Kroger:
Price: $1.25 for 10 ounces of chips
Look how much cheaper the store brand is, a savings of a whopping $3.04 for a bag of chips! Breaking that down it's just 12.5 cents per ounce, WAY below the premium price for Ruffles, the name brand.
Chip #3, discount brand - Clancy's, a.k.a., Aldi:
Price: $1.79 for 10 ounces of chips
Again, like the nationally recognized store brand (Kroger), this bag of chips is FAR cheaper than the name brand, a savings of $2.50 for a bag of chips or breaking it down coming in at 17.9 cents per ounce. It is a bit more expensive however than the store brand (Kroger).
So how does the taste and dip factor play out?
When it came to the look, you can see the slight differences in color, but that's inconsequential. Chip size however IS a distinguishing factor. Ruffles, the name brand, is the smallest chip overall of the lot. The Aldi brand, Clancey's, is the biggest chip, favorable to dipping. And what is the difference between 'Ridges' and 'Waves' you ask? Although 'Wavy' chips do appear to have a deeper ridges than chips named for 'Ridges'..... There really is no difference. All chips tested held dip quite well, but all chip brands tested consisted of some chips breaking off in the dip. But that's half the fun right? When dipping chips, you might need another chip to rescue the broken one in the dip! That's chip/dip fun!
As far as taste, there was no distinguishable difference in any of the chip brands. They were all tasty, none any more salty than the other, all providing that crunch factor and texture you're looking for in a chip.
Of the three, I recommend Clancy's. Even though it's a bit higher priced than the store brand, Kroger, it's the bigger chip - better for dipping - and that's why you buy a 'Wavy' and/or 'Ridges' chip. Don't pay a premium price for a name brand chip that doesn't taste any better and is in fact, a smaller chip! That's bad for dipping. If you have been a buyer of the name brand, there's really no reason to continue doing so. Save yourself some money with the discount brand from Aldi or the store brand like Kroger.