March 2023

Lay's "Heinz Tomato Ketchup"


I picked up this bag of chips because I’m Canadian. In Canada, ketchup potato chips are very common. In fact, we as Canadians consider ketchup flavoured potato chips to be part of our food culture, along with a few other flavours like dill pickle and all dressed. While we know that we don’t own the rights to these flavours (with the possible exception of all dressed), I feel like we’ve been making these flavours of potato chips for a very long time and have mastered it. So it’s interesting for me to see when other places try to make these flavours themselves. While I will compare the two, I’m also hoping in a small way that other cultures might try something different that actually works better or at the very least differently.

So I’m going to start this by saying that I don’t like these as much as I like Canadian ketchup chips. I know that there’s a certain bias in this statement and I can accept that. My first problem with these chips is actually a lack of ketchup flavour. It’s not that they don’t taste like ketchup at all, it’s just a very subtle ketchup flavour. In Canada there’s almost a contest as to what brand can amp up the ketchup flavour the most, where these are much more subtle and even have a stronger tomato flavour than ketchup (there is a difference). The ketchup flavour that is present in these chips is good, it just needs to be a bit stronger.

The second problem I had with these chips had nothing to do with the ketchup flavour. It appears that these chips are some kind of Pringles like chip, but in a bag. I’m assuming that these chips are made by grinding up potatoes, and reforming them in to perfectly shaped potato chips. I get this from the flavour and texture that lacks a real potato feeling. Unfortunately, since they put them into bags after forming them, most of the chips were broken and the there we more crumbs than perfectly shaped potato chips.

I didn’t hate these chips, and I realize that my cultural bias towards stronger flavours in ketchup potato chips plays a part in my opinion of these. I really don’t understand why they didn’t just use regular potato chips for these. I feel like cutting potatoes takes less work than grinding potatoes down and reforming them into potato chip shapes takes more effort. These were fine enough, but I’d still rather get my ketchup chips in Canada.