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The potato chip champion decided

Photo by Michael Hicks

Potato Chips are the classic snack for families all around the world. The perfect thing to grab while on the road, a mainstay in all school vending machines. Months ago on a hot summer, my family and I were on a road trip. Not having eaten in hours, we stopped at a convenience store. Standing in front of the potato chips section I was overwhelmed by choice. An endless wall of different chip brands lay in front of me, from ruffles and lays, to Hawaiian brand kettle chips. It was at that moment that I realized there was the only way to solve this conundrum. I have to host a blind chip taste test and get the true opinion of the masses.

This idea stayed brewing in my mind for a couple of months, waiting for the perfect opportunity to enact my plan. Finally, it came to me, one November morning I started to carry out my plan. I would host my chip contest within the context as an idea for an article and all would be right in this world. This would be a 3 step process for it to truly work. Step 1, the planning, step 2, the event, step 3, the results, and the article.

Photo by Sasha Bercovici


This was the longest and most difficult part of the process. The pure complexity of the logistics required to host an event like this was way more than I expected. I selected 8 chip brands to be tasted, split into two sections. The main brand chips, and the off-brand chips. The main brand chips were Ruffles, Lays, Kettles, and Pringles. The off-brands are Hawaii, Cape cod, Lays Stax, and Signature Select.

Photo by Sasha Bercovici

I decided there would be two parts to the contest. The first round functions as an elimination round, to ensure the people with the best chip pallets would be ranking these chips. The 15 people that got in would all have to blindly guess which chip belonged to which of the main brands to prove their pallet. The top 5 highest-scoring participants would then move to the second round. Finally, these 5 chip tasters would rank all 8 brands of chips in the definitive ranking of the potato chip.

Photo by Michael Hicks

The Main Event

November 30th, 2021. It all comes down to this, the main attraction. The chip champions would all be decided in this grand event. The line of tasters all funneled through to sample the chip lineup in the first event. Fighting in this competition to gain the top 5 spots as this school’s chip champions.

When all was said and done with the first event, the participants all went their separate ways, anxiously waiting for the results of the contest. When all was said and done the 5 chip champions were Malcolm Wade, Ivy Klein, Payton Kachnanon, Elston Jacobs, and Kaitlynn Patterson. All of them would be making their way down to the second event, where we could finally find the greatest chip brand. These chip champions were all ruthlessly tested, eating all 8 brands of chips, and have come up with the results for the greatest chips.

Photo by Michael Hicks

The Results

The moment we’ve all been waiting for. The Champion of all potato chips will be decided, but first, we must shame the lowest-performing brands. Hawaiian brand kettle chips came last with an embarrassing performance that almost puts all potato chips to shame. Next, in a shocking upset, Lays brand chips did awfully considering their reputation. Only coming in 7th place. Lays Stax is next in 6th, their performance truly shows the need for widespread company reorganization to fix this downright terrible performance. Next, the last brand in the bottom half comes with Ruffles chips another disappointing performance from such a big brand.

Now comes the good chips the ones you might really consider for a road trip snack. the first in the upper echelon of chip creation, Cape Cod original kettle-cooked potato do fairly well for their more underground status. Pringles are up next, proving to the other brands that you don’t have to sacrifice quality for brand recognition. The runner-up chip brand, one you would almost always grab without a thought, is Signature Select, proving they really are a signature chip brand.

Photo by Sasha Bercovici

But all the other chips pale in comparison to this next one. The cream of the crop for chips, the top of the ladder, the greatest chips of all time are...Kettle Brand potato chips! They have a performance that puts all others to shame.

Potato chips are a complex art. While some failed tremendously and others simply chose to hide in the comfort of the middle, some truly rose to the occasion, to provide the premium chip tasting experience to the populace at large. Hopefully, I made the road trip snack decision just a little bit easier.

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