Mr. Wrong By Joe MacLeod

Frito-Lay: Stop Testing Potato Chips on Public

City Paper

Like many U.S. Americans, I enjoy to snack on snack food products, as opposed to like, some carrot sticks or otherwise healthy crap, such as, I dunno, fruit, I guess. 

I enjoy potato chips, pretzels, popcorn, cheese curls, peanuts, dried wasabi peas, the packages of crackers with stuff sandwiched in between, tortilla chips, those little waffle deals with the bright-orange cheese schmears inside, and Pringles® and Combos® and Funyuns® and pretty much whatever you got, snackwise; those teensy little squiggly things in the mixed bowls of snack that classy bars put out at Happy Hour, or even some Chex™ Party Mix, for instance.

Any serious snacker will tell you the thing that gets their snack-receptors all a-tingle is the New. Doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it is a New flavor, man, hard-core snackers will automatically go in on a bag of whatever to get their snout into a heapin’ helpin’ of the New, which brings me to the Lay’s® Do Us A Flavor™ contest and competition, where people come up with ideas for new flavors of potato chips, and send ’em in with the Dream of winning a pile of money, in this case One Million Dollars, and here are the final four flavors for the Year of Our Lord 2014: Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, Cappuccino, Wavy Mango Salsa, and Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger.

I saw one of the flavors on an “End Cap” at the supermarket, which is a primo location, because if you want your goods to be on the “End Cap,” where they will move faster, you pay money to the supermarket and they hook you up, and I totally went “End Cap” on a bag of Cappuccino chips.

I brought the chips home and waited until I was in the optimal snack-receptive period, typically right before I am supposed to eat a Sensible Dinner Meal, and when the moment came, I cracked the seal on the bag, and took a big nose hit, always the first Sensory Experience when getting ready to shove some New into your Snackhole. My Snacking Companion hit it outta the park when she offered her assessment of the Olfactory Aspect of the Cappuccino chip, to wit, and I quote, “Smells like crappuccino dust and dessert.”

Not really my cuppa snack, but I had to move forward and so I grabbed a couple for Tasting and Judgment. Now I will quote myself from my Twitters, where I was “Live Tweeting” this encounter with the New:


Seriously, they looked dirty, like something you would not want to put into your mouth. Again, I quote my Tweeters:


That’s a pretty classy word, “redolent,” eh? I take my Snack Judgment seriously, yo! Anyway, I went further on my Twitter Machine, saying stuff such as the chips tasted like disappointment and despair, and how could you have a bunch of ingredients that were tasty, and combinate them into such a terrible product, and basically, like, how can you fuck up a potato chip, you know? I also speculated a Conspiracy Theory, wherein I wondered if the Cappuccino chip was a guaranteed Loser flavor just to pad out the contest, because I’m Theorizing here, maybe the potato chip factory has to buy Ingredients and stuff, and they wanna make sure they don’t drive up the prices on the stuff they really need, and, yeah, it’s not a very good Theory, but did anybody at Frito-Lay taste these fucking chips? They are awful! I couldn’t get anywhere near finishing the bag, and I tried, I pushed myself, like that guy Andrew Zimmern, who has that “Bizarre Foods” show on Cable Television, who eats stinky tofu, and eggs that have been left in the car in Morocco for eight hours on a 120-degree day, just really challenging stuff, fried garbage or whatever, so I pushed it and ate a few more chips, but I couldn’t even put a dent in the bowl of chips I served myself, which was a small fraction of what was in the bag, urgh. So my final Judgment on Twitter was:


Then I got Angry, I mean, even the word “Cappuccino” was ticking me off every time I looked at the bag of chips, so I wrote an email to the Frito-Lay comments thing on its Web Site, it doesn’t call it “Complaints” or anything like that, it’s “question or comment,” and I told Frito-Lay about its Cappuccino chip, man:

To Whom it May Concern,

These chips are really terrible, and it is disturbing that you put these out as part of a competition, which kinda tricks people into trying them. I know it’s all about BUYER BEWARE and this is America and a Free-Market Economy, but you could have at least put some sort of descriptor on the bag saying something like YOU MIGHT NOT LIKE THESE BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT SALTY LIKE REGULAR POTATO CHIPS, IN FACT EVEN WE AREN’T SURE IF THESE ARE ANY GOOD TO EAT AT ALL, BUT WE CAN DRESS IT UP AS A COMPETITION AND SELL YOU AT LEAST ONE BAG AND YOU’LL THROW IT AWAY FASTER THAN THE USUAL SNACK-BAG AND THEN YOU’LL NEED TO BUY MORE SNACK. For the record, I am an Unsatisfied Customer and I would like a refund on these horrible-tasting potato chips. Thank you.

It got right back to me and said Frito-Lay was gonna mail me a Coupon, so we’re good, I respond really well to bribes! Personally I think the Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese is gonna take the top spot, but I haven’t tried any of the other flavors yet. 

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