Last week, Foodlosofia team left on a trend hunting tour around the United States in search of innovative food products on the market. From snacks to beverages, from candies to bars, we found amazing products that we will be sharing with you on this blog. This time we focused on chips: how they are being reinvented by introducing new ingredients into familiar formats. Either you’re looking for a way to stick to your dietary restrictions, or you’re just looking for a new way to enjoy a crunchy snack, you’ll find out which are our top picks based on the taste, texture, benefits, and a bonus point for our overall opinion.
The winner was certainly the cauliflower pretzels by From the Ground Up. We were all surprised by its prominent cauliflower flavor, not annoying nor too strong. It’s refreshing to have a better-for-you product that doesn’t try to hide the good ingredients, but instead, capitalizes on them to offer a distinctive flavor that stands out from the rest. The second place went to Hippeas chickpea puffs, an interesting love story between sweet and tangy flavors with an extra spicy kick. In third place, we chose Epic’s pork crackling with its 2 flavors, jalapeño and maple bacon. The jalapeño version truly fulfilled our expectations; it was spicy enough with deep flavors, while the maple-bacon lacked of complexity. Nevertheless, we love how Epic always stands for disruptive quality, introducing new formats into the snacks category with flavors that can go from Himalayan sea salt, chili lime or even cinnamon churro baked rinds.
Sadly, for this category there was an undeniable loser: Lesser Evil egg white curls. The smell was not inviting at all and the aftertaste is certainly the last thing you want to keep in your palate. The ingredients and appearance of this product set high expectations that are quickly dissolved once you taste one bite.
The chickpea puffs were our favorite in terms of crunchiness and general texture, as they reminded us of the classic Cheetos in the best way possible. However, we have to admit that in this category, almost all of the products we tried did a great job. The cauliflower pretzels made it to our top 3, since they replicate the same experience of the traditional pretzels.
The pork cracklings were naturally the most difficult to categorize. Some pieces had more fat than others, which for some of us, resulted in an entertaining experience, but for others, for those who had more sensitive teeth, it was simply too hard to bite.
The ones with the poorest texture evaluation were the chicken chips by Wilde. They were crunchy, but turned into a rough textured paste shortly after the first bite. To be honest, we’re being kind of picky here, because even though we did prefer the other textures, crunchy chicken chips will always be a “yes please!”
The product which we think had more functional benefits were the Wilde chicken chips. It explores a new application of chicken in snacks that goes way beyond the ever-growing beef jerky category. These chips are certainly a new way of turning protein into accessible and shareable treats.
The chickpea puffs did also a great job by balancing plant-based protein with fiber, while also appealing users with common food allergies and intolerances. Pork cracklings can also be a perfect snack for popular diets like Keto and Paleo, while being environmental responsible for respecting and taking care of their porks.
The product that didn’t make the cut were the cheese and broccoli puffs. Yes, they do have broccoli powder, but the percentage they actually have seems more like a marketing strategy than a health game changer.
And the Winner Is…
Overall, our favorite product was Hippeas chickpea puffs. Its taste, texture, nutritional benefits and familiar format, combine a substantial nutritious choice with the festivity that revolves around sharing a bag of chips. Even though, we only tried out the sriracha sunshine ones, they have other interesting flavors like bohemian barbecue or vegan white cheddar that we’re thrilled to taste soon.
A Little About Ourselves
Before you go, here’s a sneak peek about the voices behind this review. Milo is a meat lover and very hard to please, yet, his top-everything was clearly the pork cracklings. Nes, as a chips lover and eater, picked the cheese broccoli balls, since he felt he could have the same eating dynamics as with the traditional potato chips. Fernanda’s favorite were the Hippeas. She follows a plant-based diet and avoids products like chips, but if she’s in the mood, she’d like to have rich flavors and a not-so-guilty feeling afterwards. Thalia, who loves sweets and is always looking for healthy recipes, voted as well for the Hippeas, saying she would literally buy them any time, any day. And last but not least, Vincenzo, who’s passionate about trying new things, chose the cauliflower pretzels as his favorite since he was surprised by their intense, yet balanced flavor.
We will continue trying all the new products we bought from our food trend hunting tour. Keep posted for our next reviews!