Popular Kettle Potato Chip Flavors, Ranked From Worst To Best

With so many potato chip brands on the market nowadays, it can be overwhelming just walking down the chip aisle at the grocery store. And even worse, if you're grocery shopping using Instacart or DoorDash, you're likely just picking the same brands and products you're comfortable with, rather than browsing the aisles and taking a chance on a new chip that looks tasty and interesting. We've been through these experiences time and time again, so we decided to take a closer look at one chip brand in particular and let you know about all of its popular flavors so you can make more informed decisions the next time you shop.

Kettle Brand is a chip company owned by Campbell's, and we're sure you've seen it gracing the aisles of your local supermarkets before. With 24 chip flavors currently available on the brand's site, we took a look at the most popular, taste-tested them, and ranked the flavors for your convenience. Who knows? Maybe one of these flavors will sound enticing and you'll end up finding a new favorite. Or,maybe you didn't know your favorite flavor even came in a chip form (Farmstand Ranch, anyone?). Kettle Brand makes kettle-cooked chips (called the "Classic" variations on its site), but it also offers Air Fried flavors and Krinkle Cut flavors, maintaining a solid grip on the chip diversity game. This brand has a lot to pick from, so let's break things down.

Some recommendations are based on first-hand impressions of promotional materials and products provided by the brand.

16. Jalapeño

We love a zesty, spicy margarita on a sweltering summer day, chopped-up jalapeños on top of gooey nachos, and even jalapeño poppers. This is all to say that we are enthusiastic fans of all things spicy, and especially all things jalapeño-flavored. When it came to the Kettle Brand Jalapeño chips, however, our feelings didn't quite land in the same boat. In fact, they landed in a different lake entirely.

To us, these jalapeño-flavored kettle-cooked chips were abrasive, fighting our tastebuds into nonexistence. The jalapeño flavor is quite literally the only flavor note you can get, with nothing to balance it out. We would have been intrigued if there was a secondary flavor going on in these, like a lime or even a salt. We probably would've taken anything to soothe the fierce intensity of this flavor. Even those who consider the jalapeño pepper a close friend will be appalled at the attack this flavor brings to your mouth. It's simply not an enjoyable experience.

15. Kettle Cooked Air Fried Jalapeño

Yes, this is indeed a different chip flavor from the one you previously read about, and, no, it didn't taste the same. Well, let's clarify: Taste-wise, it seems the same ingredients for the flavor were used and the same amount of spice was applied. However, texture-wise, these morsels are decidedly different. The Kettle Cooked Air Fried Jalapeño chips were from the Air Fried line at the Kettle Brand, and despite not being on talking terms with the flavor, we were enamored with the chip style. We wish the Kettle Brand would expand its Air Fried line more, seeing as there are currently only three flavors (don't worry, we were able to get our hands on two out of the three flavors).

The air-fried base brought a new life to the jalapeño flavor. It wasn't enough to fully revive it, seeing as it's second to last in this ranking, but it was enough to bring it out of last place. The flavors still obliterated our mouths, but the texture was interesting and enjoyable. If you absolutely must try the jalapeño flavor from this brand after all the fuss we made about it, go for the Air Fried variation — we wouldn't be opposed to a thank you letter in the mail from your taste buds.

14. Krinkle Cut Habanero Lime

Hating on spicy flavors is not our normal M.O. — we promise. In reality, we love a good spicy snack, usually choosing those over anything simply salty or basic. The Krinkle Cut Habanero Lime chips from the Kettle Brand caught our eye initially — we thought they might sneak their way into our regular grocery shopping list after trying them. Sadly, our premonition did not come to be. Coming in at 14th place, this flavor was, put gently, an experience.

When one of the variations on the regular kettle-cooked chip was used (either the Air Fried line or the Krinkle Cut line) it gave the chip a big boost in overall likeability. So had this flavor not been Krinkle Cut, it definitely would've been lower on the list. The beef we have with this flavor is the deception in it. First, you taste only lime, and it's powerful enough to make you think you're safe. But as your hand is reaching for that second chip, it recoils, because the heat takes down your tastebuds about 20 seconds later, rendering you speechless (and tasteless). While we did appreciate the use of the lime to attempt to balance out the habanero intensity, we wished the flavors would've co-mingled instead of attacking us one after the after.

13. Unsalted

The epiphany we came to when trying these was that when you think of a generic potato chip taste, it is not unsalted. Rather, when we think of a basic potato chip, we're thinking of a salty, crunchy snack like most of you are. The Kettle Brand Unsalted flavor chip really shook our belief system around potato chips, in that, at their core, they taste like potatoes. We know this sounds absurd, but imagine biting into a potato chip, and then tasting nothing but potatoes. Not even salted potatoes or mashed potatoes with butter, but imagine what it would taste like to bite into a raw potato. That's what this chip tasted like.

The reason this flavor ranks higher than some of the others was that it didn't come for us; it was unassuming and mild, and there was nothing inherently gross, painful, or traumatic about it. As one of our taste testers noted, this would be the perfect chip to put on a flavorful sandwich at the beach or to dip in the most outlandish dip available at a party. The Unsalted flavor is built for helping other flavors and adding a pure crunch factor, rather than standing out on its own.

12. Parmesan Garlic

Initially having a bit higher hopes for Parmesan Garlic, we'd dreamed this flavor would graduate college and get a steady job at a respectable establishment. On the contrary, Parmesan Garlic was what we hope no snacks are — quite forgettable. The parmesan wasn't sharp and the garlic was a whisper of what it could've been. Something we have found in our taste testing of a wide variety of Kettle Brand chips is that flavor intensity has not been quite consistent, and that we wish some flavors were toned down, while others were dialed up. The Parmesan Garlic flavor in question needed to be dialed up about five notches in the flavor department.

Like Unsalted, it didn't do us any harm, so it landed in the middle of the pack. If there are no other suitable flavors available on the shelf, it wouldn't hurt you to choose this one. Just don't expect a salty crunch with a garlicky aftertaste. Instead, expect a mild, temperate parmesan flavor to muscle its way through, with the garlic shouting behind, saying, "Wait for me!"

11. Sea Salt

Formidable a snack with a classy reputation, the standard, salty potato chip strikes again. This time, only, in a kettle-cooked form. The Sea Salt flavor from the Kettle Brand was delightfully on the nose, and we would not have wanted it any other way. Sometimes you just need a classic potato chip, and coming in the "party size," these are absolutely the ideal chips to bring to a party where you don't know anyone's flavor preferences.

The crunch was satisfying, the salt wasn't burning, and the kettle-cooked quality only added to the overall perfection of the chip. The reason these are not ranked any higher in this list, though, is because the rest of the flavors on the list were simply more interesting, more innovative, and more memorable. But we will never bash an absolute classic: We're here for the Sea Salt flavor, just not captivated by it.

10. Farmstand Ranch

What exactly does the "farmstand" in Farmstand Ranch mean? Top-notch question. What we know is that, rather than any type of farm or even farmer's market, these ranch-flavored chips take us right back to dugouts. Baseball and softball people will know what I'm talking about and will immediately think of the sunflower seeds that were just oh-so-popular to chew on during games — and sometimes to subsequently spit out once you'd sucked out all the flavor (gross in theory, and, well, gross in action, but tasty all the same). If you're missing the sweet experience of sand in your cleats and inside jokes with your teammates, take a bite out of one of these Farmstand Ranch chips and you'll be transported back to the diamond.

For anyone I just lost talking about sports, let me break things down in a different way: If you like the taste of ranch, you'll like these chips. If you and ranch like to aggressively dance jazz squares at each other in a "West Side Story" fashion, don't get this flavor. Kettle Brand Farmstand Ranch is straight to the point, packs enough of a flavor punch without knocking you out, and is a win for folks who enjoy ranch by the pint.

9. Krinkle Cut Dill Pickle

A polarizing flavor, pickles have staunch supporters and passionate haters alike. And both are probably mad at us for this ranking right now. Pickle lovers are potentially peeved (say that five times fast) at this flavor not getting a higher ranking, for what greater flavor is there than pickles? In the other corner warming up, we have pickle haters annoyed that this flavor was able to make it into the top 10 of this ranking. Well, folks, what we have to say about the Krinkle Cut Dill Pickle Flavor is similar to that of Farmstand Ranch: If you like pickles, you'll love these chips.

The reason why they are ranked higher than the Farmstand Ranch is because of the Krinkle Cut factor. The ridges in these snacks let the flavor seep into the cracks, so that you get more of the flavor in question with every bite, rather than digging your hand into the bottom of the bag in a quest to try to find the more flavor-coated chips. These are refreshing, somehow, for a room-temperature snack item, and if you like pickles, we think these are some of the best pickle-flavored chips on the market right now.

8. Krinkle Cut Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper

If you're one of the unfortunate folks who has never had a salt and pepper chip grace their lips before, boy, oh boy do you have a treat ahead of you. We think these chips are absolutely underrated and they deserve way more hype than they're currently getting. In fact, if salt and pepper chips became the new "basic" chip flavor like plain salt chips are now, we could retire happily. There's just something about the subtle zing of the pepper mixed with the tanginess of the salt that makes this chip more of an experience. But, like the basic salt chip, if you have them with dip or use them as a vessel for more dynamic flavors, they'll do their job well, bolstering any tertiary flavors up. Salt and pepper chips stand on their own without stealing the show.

We enjoyed the Kettle Brand Krinkle Cut Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper chips for many reasons. The Krinkle Cut base was, as always, a joy to experience, and these chips were a fantastic palate cleanser after many interesting flavors in a row. But to say these were the overall best salt and pepper chips we've ever had would be a lie. We wanted even more of a pepper flavor than these had to offer, sadly. But, they were still tasty, which is why they found themselves in eighth place.

7. Sour Cream & Onion

If you have had a sour cream and onion chip before, you can envision what these taste like. Being consistent sour cream and onion chip flavor supporters ourselves, we were intrigued to try a kettle-cooked version of a classic chip flavor. This time, our curiosity didn't kill the cat — it fed it. Potentially confusing wordplay aside, we enjoyed this Kettle Brand chip flavor enough to rank it in seventh place.

One potential upgrade we'd give to the flavor inventors over at Kettle Brand would be to make this chip flavor with a Krinkle Cut base. That would really take things to the next level and we could imagine the savory spices trickling into the creases in the chip, making for an even bigger flavor explosion. These are tasty, and another good flavor you could bring to a party and not have folks bewildered by your chip choice.

6. Honey Dijon

While the Habanero Lime flavor was the bad version of the one-two punch (flavor-wise), the Honey Dijon flavor is the good version. We thoroughly enjoyed this flavor and it swooped into the rankings as an underdog flavor. Upon the first bite of the chip, you get flavor instantly; there's no waiting around with this one. The first taste you get is the sweet honey, which balances well with the saltiness of the chip. But give it a few seconds, because then comes in the Dijon flavor, ready for business. Instead of being abrasive like the habanero was, the Dijon is kinder and more interesting. We think that even if you don't love Dijon mustard, or any mustard for that matter, you could potentially enjoy these.

While not quite a contender for the top five, Kettle Brand's Honey Dijon was a surprising wild card in our kettle-cooked chip lineup and we were happy to have this flavor among the ranks. We recommend it if you're looking for the perfect sweet and salty balance in a chip.

5. Backyard Barbeque

Unlike the Farmstand prefix, Backyard Barbeque really fits the overall aesthetic, nostalgia factor, and taste of this kettle-cooked chip flavor. It transports you to a balmy June afternoon in a backyard somewhere, a family member cooking on the grill, and you snacking on barbeque chips to satiate your hunger until the main course. Backyard Barbeque is for everyone and we love that. We can't think of a single person who doesn't enjoy a barbeque chip and these capture the essence of the barbeque chip perfectly.

Like the Sea Salt flavor, they came in a party-sized bag, which doubles down on the fact that there is no identity crisis here. Backyard Barbeque knows its place and purpose is to feed a crowd and it does so with pride. And, the kettle-cooked factor just enhances an already ideal chip flavor with a crunchier and more interesting texture experience.

4. Pepperoncini

Another total wild card in the mix, Kettle Brand's Pepperoncini flavor swiped us off our feet and took us by complete surprise. If you were crushed by our evaluation of the two jalapeño flavors the brand offers and were hoping for a new favorite spicy chip, let Pepperoncini redeem things. We were totally taken by this chip flavor and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a bit of spice, but is more there for the flavor, rather than the heat.

Do not get us wrong. There still is a bit of heat here, but it is not the type of heat that will leave you feeling wronged — it is the kind that you look forward to. Pepperoncini, we hope you stick around, so we can add you to our normal grocery shopping list. An idea for Kettle Brand? Try this flavor in the Air Fried format.

3. Kettle Cooked Air Fried Himalayan Salt

Entering the final three top contenders, in third place comes Kettle Brand's Air Fried Himalayan Salt. We know we placed regular Sea Salt much lower in this ranking, so how could a simple salt flavor change-up move this ranking that much? Well, it's not just about the salt difference, though it's a main factor. We loved that these chips were air-fried. We found it to be the perfect combination of lightness mixed with saltiness (literally) in a wonderfully ideal bite.

Make no mistake: Himalayan salt does not taste anything like regular table salt. It tastes like the ocean, and if you think putting regular sea salt chips on a sandwich on the beach is delectable, wait until you try this flavor, instead. The Himalayan Salt is unbeatable, and it's interesting enough to stand on its own without needing a supporting flavor. Simply put, we're delighted by these.

2. Sea Salt & Vinegar

Now coming down to the final two, we decided to grant the mighty second place to the Sea Salt & Vinegar flavor. If you know us, you know that we are salt and vinegar lovers and have tried pretty much every brand that carries that flavor in our area. We are quite picky about our salt and vinegar, too, not just loving any iteration of it that comes along. Salt and vinegar is a balance between the two strong flavors and you've got to do it right.

Kettle Brand manages that flavor balance immensely well. While this was more on the vinegary side than we're used to, we know that's just a preference. There are plenty of salt and vinegar chip fans out there who much prefer a more vinegar-heavy chip. But it wasn't too intensely vinegar overpowering that we didn't enjoy them. As a matter of fact, we loved these Sea Salt & Vinegar chips from Kettle Brand and the only reason they didn't win the whole ranking was because the top pick was simply unbeatable.

1. Krinkle Cut Truffle & Sea Salt

The best popular Kettle Brand chip flavor we tried in this taste test was the Krinkle Cut Truffle Oil & Sea Salt flavor — and just, wow. It had everything. It was balanced, unique, interesting, and flavorful without killing your tastebuds (something incredibly difficult to achieve with the powerful truffle flavor) and had a fun texture to it that led to its overall success. We could write sonnets about this chip flavor.

The first thing you need to know is that the truffle flavor is present, but not rude. You can taste the truffle for sure, but it's not the only thing you can taste. If you've had over-truffled food items before, you'd know this is a marvel. Next, the sea salt pairs beautifully with the truffle, creating a flavor balance you'll be thinking about for days. And finally, the thing that brings it all together is the Krinkle Cut base in which those flavors dance. There is nothing else like this chip on the market, so you absolutely have to get your hands on it.