Lay's "Do Us a Flavor" Taste Test: Mango Salsa, Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, Wasabi Ginger, and Cappuccino
The Guilty Pleasure: Lay's Do Us a Flavor Contest Finalists
Lauren Saria We got some pretty strong reactions to this year's Lay's "Do Us a Flavor" contest chips.
Where to Get It: We found all four varieties at Target
Price: Ranges from $3.79 to $3.79 per bag
What It Really Costs: From what we can tell, no one will like all four flavors so you're going to have at least two unpleasant experiences while taste testing.
You might remember the first time Lay's did the "Do Us a Flavor" contest -- you know, the thing where millions of regular people get to submit ideas for chip flavors and then Lay's picks finalists, makes them, and allows the public to vote for a winner.
Well, it's back. And this time, the flavor finalists include Mango Salsa, Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, Wasabi Ginger, and Cappuccino. New to this year's contest is a variety of chip styles. So while the Cappuccino and Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese flavors come on classic Lay's chips, it's the kettle cooked Lay's that get the Wasabi Ginger treatment and wavy Lay's that are coated with Mango Salsa seasoning.
Anyway, here's how they taste.
Created by: Chad Scott of Las Vegas
The fact the bag of cappuccino-flavored Lay's features two sticks of cinnamon might be a little troubling to anyone who actually drinks cappuccino. Why? Because a cappuccino is usually made of two things: espresso and steamed milk. No cinnamon is involved.
But aside from the fact that these chips don't actually taste like cappuccino, they're not nearly as bad as they should be. For the most part, they taste like chips covered in instant coffee powder and cinnamon. They're more sweet than you'd expect an espresso chip to be, thanks to ingredients including brown sugar and butter but we think that actually works in the chips favor. After all, who really wants milky, bitter potato chips?
In summary: Are they weird? Yes. Are they horrible? Not quite.
Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese
Created by: Matt Allen of Troy, Ohio
When you consider the other three flavors in this contest, it's almost laughable that they're up against a chip that combines the flavors of bacon and cheese. Who doesn't like bacon and cheese? No one. We'll be quite surprised if this flavor doesn't win.
Plus, these chips taste exactly how you would imagine them. There's a lot of artificial cheese flavor and just enough smoky, meatiness to conjure images of a steaming bowl of bacon-studded cheese noodles.
In summary: We probably wouldn't buy them, but if you put a bowl in front of us, we'd eat them.
Created by: Meneko Spigner McBeth of Deptford, New Jersey
This is by far the least aggressive flavor of the bunch. It's also probably the least weird. At first, they're slightly sweet, but once you bite, you get the sinus-clearing flavors of wasabi and ginger. They're not as spicy as you might want if you're a heat freak. But then again, that's probably a good thing.
As for the kettle chip texture, we thing it's a nice touch. The extra crunch tones down what might otherwise have been a too-powerful flavor.
In summary: We could probably polish off a bag of these, too.
Created by: Julia Stanley-Metz of Sacramento, California
You probably had good intentions when suggesting this flavor but something went very, very wrong with these chips. It's weird because a chip flavored like salsa actually makes way more sense than any of the other three flavors. But poor execution has completely destroyed what may have originally been a good idea.
These chips taste like "they sprayed Bath and Body Works spray on a chip," in the words of one taste tester.
Another person crowned these chips "the worst snack ever created."
The problem is that instead of having a well-balanced sweet/spicy flavor, these chips offer a perfume-y fruitiness that assaults your taste buds and nose. It's like Juicy Fruit on a chip. In a bad, bad way.
In summary: The only thing worse than these chips is Fruit Punch Oreos.
That's our opinion. You can vote for your favorite flavor on the Lay's "Do Us a Flavor" website. The creator of the winning flavor (as in the person who took five seconds to type a flavor idea into a website) gets $1 million so choose wisely.