In an era of growing health consciousness, consumers are turning to smarter, more nutritious alternatives to traditional snacks. Enter popchips: a brand that's been picking up steam thanks to its unique take on potato chips. While most chips you find in stores are deep-fried, popchips offers a departure from the norm by utilizing new cooking methods to deliver a healthier product. But are these chips any good? We received a few of its best-selling samples to try and give our honest opinion — and here's what we thought.
What Are popchips?
The genesis of popchips lies in the recognition of a missing option on snack shelves. While options for low-fat, low-sugar, and high-protein snacks have been on the rise, the world of potato chips seemed stuck in a rut. popchips was developed in 2007 by snack enthusiasts Keith Belling and Patrick Tupin to offer consumers a "tasty and healthier" gluten-free alternative to typical potato chips without sacrificing the crunch and flavor they love.
What Are popchips Made Of?
Unlike traditional potato chips, which are typically deep-fried in a vat of oil, popchips potato chips undergo a process of heat and pressure, which "pops" them like popcorn without the use of oil, according to the company's website. This technique bypasses the need for excess oil and helps to significantly reduce the fat content typically associated with conventional potato chips.
But the distinction doesn't stop there. The other ingredients used in popchips also set them apart from their counterparts on snack shelves (like those we tried in our potato chip taste test). Steering clear of artificial flavors, synthetic colors, and preservatives, the company is committed to sourcing real ingredients, including potatoes, non-GMO safflower or sunflower oil, and natural seasonings to create its products.
For more fun taste tests and money-saving tips, please sign up for our free newsletters.
Are popchips Healthy?
By ditching the deep-frying process and focusing on high-quality ingredients, popchips boasts a more nutritionally-balanced snack option. A serving of popchips contains fewer calories and significantly less fat compared to a serving of traditional potato chips, most of which are soaked in unhealthy oils.
Beyond the reduced fat content, popchips also often contain less sodium than traditional chips. Studies have found that lower sodium intake can help reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. The commitment to real ingredients means you're also getting some fiber and nutrients with your snack.
Are popchips Tasty?
But did popchips manage to deliver that all-important crunchy texture and satisfying taste that regular potato chips have? Surprisingly, yes, and I'm a very big texture person. The four samples I was sent were: Sea Salt & Vinegar, BBQ, Sour Cream & Onion, and Sea Salt. While I'm usually a hardcore sour cream and chives kinda gal, I loved the BBQ-flavored chips the most. Tangy and sweet, the chips had a nice crunch and did not taste artificial or overpowering. The barbecue flavor also left a slight smokey aftertaste that reminded me of a good summer cookout.
My second favorite was the Sea Salt and Vinegar chips, which delivered a powerful punch from the vinegar, without being too sour or salty. The flavor was robust and satisfying without crossing over into overwhelming territory (like the Sea Salt and Vinegar Kettle Chips we tried proved to be). Despite the reduced fat content, they still packed a nice crunch and had that addictive factor that made me want to keep reaching over for another chip.
The Bottom ... Chip
The next time you want to "have your cake and eat it too," consider popchips. Embodying a combination of innovation and taste, the company is challenging the assumption that chips are always unhealthy. By offering a crunchy alternative that is flavorful and equally as addicting, we can satisfy our snack cravings while still being mindful of our health.
Find popchips on Amazon and at select Costco stores. Prices may vary.