And don’t even start about the blueberry-flavored Lay’s potato chips in China
While many assume that Canadian taste buds will not stray far from what is available in the U.S., the country is known for two signature chip flavors: all-dressed Ruffles and ketchup chips from any brand.
The origin of the tangy-sweet-salty flavor is widely attributed to Hostess, a Canadian chip brand that was eventually merged into Pepsico (PEP) ‘s Lay’s.
“In the 1970s, we were trying to mimic the taste of french fries and ketchup, and put it on a potato chip,” Katie Ceclan, senior director of marketing at Lay’s, told the Chicago Tribune in 2019. “[…] It has become an iconic flavor in Canada.”
But while no Canadian gas station will go without stocking at least a few bags of ketchup chips, the flavor is not widely available in the U.S. — at most, it will occasionally appear as novelty international flavor for a brief promotion.
Is The Ketchup Chip Finally Here To Stay?
And this is precisely what Doritos, another Frito-Lay brand, is hoping to do this time with Doritos Classic Ketchup and Doritos Spicy Mustard chips.
Available exclusively on Snacks.com for the next few weeks, the two new corn chip flavors will mimic the taste of the classic condiments and cost $5.59 for a 9.25-ounce bag.
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“We better start seeing some hotdogs with Doritos on them now that these are out on Snacks.com,” Doritos wrote on its Instagram page on Thursday.
The reactions to the post were very mixed, with some writing that the ketchup flavor is “looking mighty fine” and others saying that “there’s still time to delete this.”
“Now we just need Doritos that taste like hot dogs,” wrote Twitter user @livrach2011.
The World Of Snacks Is An Increasingly Global Place
Chip flavors have come a long way from the salt and vinegar and sour-cream-and-onion that older generations may remember — earlier this year, Frito-Lay released its annual U.S. Trend Index and found that more and more customers look for chips with “exotic” flavors every year.
That said, major chip brands are often hesitant to pour a lot of resources into more “exotic” flavors that may or may not go over with an American audience.
Instead, global tastes most often come in the form of limited-time promotions such as with Doritos’ Tangy Tamarind also released this summer. While the tangy fruit is a common flavor for snacks and candy in both South America and Southeast Asia, Frito-Lay is the first major brand to bring it to Americans.
Limited-edition runs are often the best way for a brand to experiment with new ideas and flavors to see what will take off. Some occasionally even go viral and develop a cult following.
That said, the most common chip flavors in the U.S. are still the ordinary ones — researchers from Statista found that plain, sour cream and onion and barbecue are the three most commonly-purchased chip flavors in the U.S.