Lay’s Turn Up the Flavor Wavy Electric Lime and Sea Salt, Kettle Cooked Classic Beer Cheese, and Flamin’ Hot and Dill Pickle Remix
Lay’s is the savory equivalent of Oreos. Their desire to pump out new flavors of potato chips seems like a compulsion. The difference between the two is that, while Oreo just goes straight off the rails, Lay’s always seems like they need a theme or a reason to do this. See: the extensive Taste of America rollout last year, the Passport to Flavor campaign, and of course, the Do Us a Flavor contests, where they basically said, “You do the work, we’ll sit back and judge.”
This time around, the excuse they’ve
decided to make is…music! They’ve teamed up with (read: paid) Bebe
Rexha to make an all-new song that you can only find by buying a bag
of Turn Up the Flavor Lay’s, or probably just take a picture of the
code on the package.
Apparently this song mixes pop, hip hop
and rock, which is such an accomplishment that my hat just flew off
my head. Also, full disclosure: this is literally the first time I
have heard the name Bebe Rexha. I am very old.
Because press releases are completely
fucking bonkers, here’s an excerpt straight from Lay’s:
“Like flavor, music has the power
to elicit strong emotions such as joy, passion and nostalgia,”
said Katie Ceclan, senior director of marketing, Lay’s. “Those
emotions can be heightened even further when you pair the right
flavor and music together – and that’s exactly what we sought to do
with the ‘Turn Up the Flavor’ program. As a brand that loves to
delight our fans, we are excited to bring them two things they love –
the uniquely delicious flavors of Lay’s and the incredible sound of
Bebe Rexha. Our limited-time flavors paired with exclusive, new songs
from Bebe each create a customized sensorial experience for our fans
to taste, listen and enjoy.”
Man, Katie really took us on a journey,
there. I now believe Lay’s has power over all
my emotions, and I will eat them much more cautiously. The last thing
I want to do is start weeping uncontrollably at a job interview
because I had a bag of Sour Cream and Onion on the way there.
That’s probably not
a good idea in the first place. You don’t want stank onion breath at
an interview. What’s wrong with you?
descriptions of these flavors in the press release are bonkers,
so I will review them from least to most crazy. You’ll see what I
Lime and Sea Salt
tangy and vibrant flavors of Lay’s Wavy Electric Lime and Sea Salt
are energetic and upbeat like the fun-filled melodies and lyrics of
Pop Music that you can’t help but keep on repeat.”
Okay. Cool. We’re one tequila shot away from a rollicking good time
with these flavors. Although how well do they vibe with a potato
The first chip is
a real lime punch to the tongue, which I have to say, is not exactly
appealing. Lime and potato aren’t a great duo if you ask me. It’s not
a truly authentic lime flavor, but it’s also not candy lime, which is
As you cram more
chips into your mouth the lime flavor fades and becomes more of a
general tangy sensation that works well with the sea salt on the
chip. I didn’t notice it as distinctly “sea” salt, however.
But the tang/salt
combo works well. The only problem is that if you stop eating them,
even for a minute, the lime flavor comes back and reminds you that it
sucks. The obvious solution is to keep eating the chips until the
entire bag is gone. Voila!
Cooked Classic Beer Cheese
Kettle Cooked Classic Beer Cheese is a bold, exciting flavor that
matches the incredible feeling you get listening to Rock Music as the
lead singer’s vocals lead into the first riff of the power chords and
you anxiously await the band to take it to the next level.”
Okay maybe lay off the amp pedal a little here, Lay’s. You sound like
a legally-stoned dad at a Van Halen concert. Although, appropriately,
so does this flavor. I feel prepared to be vaguely satisfied but
At first I thought
these tasted pretty much like a normal cheese kettle chip, but then
there was a bitter undertone that I could see representing the hoppy
taste of beer. It was a surprise flavor that wasn’t exactly welcome,
even though it did keep with the spirit of the Classic Beer Cheese
If you already
don’t like beer, you’re not going to like these chips, and even if
you do like beer I’m not entirely sure “bitter” should be a
flavor profile in a potato chip. Although if you’re already drinking
a beer, these might pair well.
While I don’t see
beer chips taking off as the newest trend, an attempt was made, which
is more than I expected out of this flavor. You always leave me
Flamin’ Hot and
Dill Pickle Remix
no arguing that if Hip Hop was a flavor, it would be Flamin’ Hot! The
harmony of distinct beats and spicy lyrics create the same alluring
experience as uniting two fiercely loved flavors – Lay’s Flamin’
Hot and Dill Pickle. Bringing two powerhouses together to create
perfect harmony, rapper and songwriter Saweetie drops a guest verse
in Bebe’s Hip Hop remix that takes the heat to the next level.”
Listen. While I enjoy the genre of music, I have no authority to deny
or confirm that Flamin’ Hot is, indeed, the hip hoppest of flavors.
And is combining Flamin’ Hot with Dill Pickle really an “alluring
experience”? Is Dill Pickle even fiercely loved as a Lay’s flavor?
All I can do is tell you my opinion.
disclosure: I feel like I’ve vaguely heard the name Saweetie before,
but could tell you absolutely nothing about them. I’m just so
My nostrils were
completely pickle-blasted upon opening the bag, which I did not
expect. Even more surprising was how well Flamin’ Hot and Dill Pickle
played together. The taste of what I can only call “hot” (Flamin’
Hot really is just a flavor unto itself) and the mostly
vinegar-driven sourness just work.
know it sounds gross. I thought it would be gross. Wait, am I the
only one who thought it would be gross? Come to think of it, hot
pickles exist and are seemingly popular. Bringing heat to a
vinegar/garlicky combo doesn’t sound so crazy when I give it a second
converted me, Lay’s. While Classic Beer Cheese comes out the surprise
winner in uniqueness, Flamin’ Hot and Dill Pickle Remix takes first
place in taste. Sorry Electric Lime and Sea Salt, you’re just kind of
hanging out in the background, which is ironically representative of
me at any concert.
And now for our new segment, Behind the Food: It didn’t take much looking into the Frito-Lay chip machine to find a little bit of dirt swept under the rug: Just last May, Frito-Lay settled a three-year wage, meal, and rest dispute with their California truck drivers to the tune of $6.5 million. Turns out Frito-Lay was supposed to be paying their drivers and they weren’t! I guess they got mad that truck drivers actually wanted to stop driving at some point during the day. Hell yeah to these workers for getting the wages they deserved in the first place!
Lay’s Turn Up the Flavor Chips
- Score (Wavy Electric Lime and Sea Salt): 2.5 out of 5 fun-filled melodies
- Score (Kettle Cooked Classic Beer Cheese): 2.5 out of 5 legally-stoned dads
- Score (Flamin’ Hot and Dill Pickle Remix): 4 out of 5 hip hoppest beats
- Price: $3.49
- Size: 7 1/2-8 oz. bags
- Purchased at: Safeway
- Nutritional Quirk: Classic Beer Cheese does list “Beer Solids” as an ingredient, which includes both hops and barley. I don’t want to know how you get beer solids.