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Chips aren't just a cheap snack; they are addicting. A handful of salty Lay's or cheesy Doritos are never enough. These irresistible snacks keep you coming back for more. The global potato chip market was valued at a whopping $22 billion in 2020, and it is only expected to grow. However, health concerns have people rethinking the way they snack.
Traditional potato chips have been criticized for their low nutritional value and associations with obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. This left people wanting healthier alternatives to get their snack fix, and the healthy chip industry swooped in to meet demand. This sector of the snack food market brought in $9 billion in 2018, and is rising each year. Within the past decade, the industry has exploded with a multitude of alternatives to potato and corn chips, some more successful than others. This is a ranking of 11 brands of healthy chips to help you pick your next snack.
This first brand is not only the most expensive on this list but the worst tasting. Made from chicken breast, Wilde packs in 20g of protein per serving. That is about where the benefits end. These chips have the same amount of calories as a serving of traditional potato chips despite being lower in carbs.
The scent of these chips is rather off-putting, and they taste like a week-old rotisserie chicken. With flavors like Chicken & Waffles and Nashville Hot Chicken, Wilde certainly has gained some fans interested in a low-carb diet, but many people just cannot get past the chicken flavor. As one Amazon reviewer states, "The Himalayan salt cannot overcome the mealy, dry taste of these chips." With so many people unable to finish a single bag of these chips that cost over $3.00 per ounce, this brand has earned the bottom spot on this list. Do not waste your money on this product.
Only marginally better than the Wilde protein chips are Hippeas Tortilla Chips. While the chickpea puffs are rather popular, the brand's tortilla chips leave much to be desired. Lacking crunch and flavor, these chips do not pack a punch like their corn-based counterparts. They are not even corn-free. While chickpea flour is the first ingredient, it is followed by corn flour. The chickpea flour seems to negatively impact the texture, making them unlike standard tortilla chips.
A disappointed customer complains on Instagram that these chips "taste like a bag of sad mush." With a mealy texture and meek flavor, these chips might be better off left on the shelf. The overall consensus is that customers are underwhelmed by the flavors, especially compared to Doritos flavor options. These chips are gluten-free, vegan, organic, and free of major allergens, but those sacrifices have led to a product that is not very enjoyable.
Many people have turned to the healthy chip market to find snacks that meet their dietary needs as food allergies and intolerances have skyrocketed. Beanfields offers a grain-free alternative to tortilla chips, but do not expect to be wowed. Made primarily of beans, these chips have a strong legume flavor and are missing that satisfying crunch. With a growing number of flavors, Beanfields appears to be fighting to capture its share of the healthy chip market, but they are by far not the best option out there.
Looking for an allergy-friendly snack, one consumer on Amazon was hoping they had struck gold when they found Beanfields. However, defeated, they describe these chips as tasting like "jalapeno flavored bean feet." The nacho flavor is not an improvement. The vegan cheesy flavor is overpowered by the bean aftertaste. These chips can give you a boost of fiber and protein, but there are more appetizing ways to fulfill those needs.
Cauliflower has taken over the health food industry as a lower guilt version of carb-heavy favorites like pizza dough, rice, and pasta. From the Ground Up has played on this craze with their cauliflower chips, but these snacks may not be as healthy as they seem. Predominantly marketed as a "cauliflower" product gives the impression of being low in carbohydrates, but this is not the case. Cassava, a starchy root vegetable, is listed as the first ingredient for the tortilla chips, not cauliflower. Customers on Amazon may also be disappointed to realize these chips are not keto-friendly at 19g of carbs per serving.
These chips might be an acquired taste. They are crunchy and salty but present an odd aftertaste of overcooked vegetables. One reviewer on Google notes a "very strong cauliflower and broccoli taste." While a number of people don't seem to mind the vegetable taste, you will constantly be reminded that you are eating your veggies at snack time.
Siete Foods is a brand that sells tortilla chips among other Mexican American food products. The brand's line of grain-free tortilla chips has soared to popularity in the past couple of years. Consumers have praised the Chipotle BBQ flavor on Siete's website. Paleo and vegan, these tortilla chips are coated in a nice layer of flavorful seasoning after being fried in avocado oil. The lime is also a favored variety.
The nacho cheese flavor has received less stellar reviews. If you are expecting a quality alternative to Doritos, do not turn to this brand. One Amazon reviewer admits these may be healthier than Doritos, but "don't expect them to taste remotely the same." Another person finds this vegan chip flavor to have a "weird aftertaste." While providing a wide variety of flavors, there are better chip brands on this list. This may, however, be the best tasting grain-free tortilla chip option for those with food allergies. For those without that restriction, these just cannot compare to corn-based tortilla chips.
Artisan Tropic offers a respectable contribution to the healthy chip market. This line of chips uses three main ingredients: plantains, cassava, and "sustainable" palm oil. This company has received some glowing reviews, although they are not one of the more well-known brands on the market. One reviewer on Amazon calls the cassava strips "so delicious, thin and crispy ... great substitute for potato chips." Sliced very thin, these chips will give you a crunchy, salty bite, but they lack the excitement of other brands on this list. Another Amazon reviewer finds the cassava strips, "relatively tasteless and teeth-breaking hard."
As for the plantain strips, one person on Influenster notes there is "not much of a plantain taste. Slices could be thinner and crispier." Another reviewer is quite fond of the BBQ flavored ones, noting a strong BBQ flavor that makes a "great nutritious snack." While the company has not received an overwhelming amount of negative reviews, they may have received a higher rating if they had more flavor options like the BBQ. Otherwise, these chips are a little dull.
Made with organic corn, Late July brings to the table an alternative to your standard tortilla chips. The restaurant-style tortilla chips are not necessarily "healthier" than the standard non-organic chips on the market, but Late July does offer a version with quinoa and chia seeds added. The multigrain line is a good choice if you are wanting a more health-friendly option. These chips are packed full of chia seeds, millet, brown rice, and amaranth. However, one reviewer on Amazon comments that the chips "didn't leave me wanting more." The chips will decently hit a salty craving, but they are really begging for some dip. As a standalone chip, the overall experience is rather bland.
Late July recently upset many customers by halting the production of its grain-free line of tortilla chips. A popular option for people with food allergies, this line is no longer listed under products on the chip brand's website. One person mentions on Instagram how they are "so broken hearted" that they can no longer buy these chips.
Off the Eaten Path offers a line of veggie crisps that are almost too pretty to eat. One customer comments on Instagram that this brand has helped them "break up the monotony of healthy eating." Made with rice, chickpeas, peas, purple sweet potatoes, and black beans, the chickpea veggie crisps are a hot seller. These vibrantly colored crisps are thin and crunchy with just the right amount of salt. One consumer on Influenster claims they can't even notice the vegetables in them and finds them to be "better than a regular chip."
One downside of this brand is the new compostable packaging. While the effort to help the environment is admirable, the packaging is obstructively loud and may cause annoyance if eating in a shared space. Consumers have also complained that the thinness of these crisps leads them to easily breaking before purchasing, especially when bought online.
This next brand started in 2013 as a line of dipped banana bites. In 2018, Barnana introduced the organic plantain chips that earned them a high ranking on this list. Now with eight varieties of plantain chips, crisps, and tortilla chips, the Himalayan Pink Salt Plantain Chips are a fan favorite. These small-batch crinkle cut chips are kettle cooked with only three ingredients: plantains, coconut oil, and Himalayan pink salt. One reviewer on the Barnana website attests that these "are by far the best plantain chips out there." Another person on Thrive Market praises these chips for their "great flavor, great crunch" and adds that they are "hard to stop eating."
While many consumers commend the use of Himalayan pink salt as a healthier alternative to iodized salt, some found that distinctive pink salt flavor to be too intense. One reviewer on Amazon calls the salt "overbearing." Others, such as this Target customer, complain about the price. However, most consumers seem to find these chips to be worth the expense.
On the market for three decades, Terra has been a leader in the healthy chip market for years. The original blend (still on the market today) contains a mix of parsnips, taro, sweet potato, yuca, and batata with some dipped in beet juice for a colorful effect. While it's hard to beat that original blend, Terra offers over 20 varieties. With the addition of herbs and lemon, the Mediterranean variation is one of the most popular flavors. One consumer notes on Influenster their love of the garlic and herb flavor. They add, "It's a nice breakaway from typical boring potato chips."
Terra chips are irresistibly crunchy and salty. With no artificial flavors or preservatives, they show how simple ingredients lead to great taste. These chips are popular for a reason. Terra receives glowing reviews, but there is one consistent complaint of this brand: too few chips per bag. Although bags are weighed at 5 ounces, which is fairly standard for the healthy chip market, one reviewer on Amazon was disappointed to find the bag "less than ⅕ full." Over all, people are still willing to pay more for these chips than they would for standard potato chips.
If any healthy chip brand is going to trump Terra, it is Food Should Taste Good, a company that produces non-GMO tortilla chips. These salty and crunchy chips come in eight flavors. Packed with high quality ingredients such as stone ground corn, flax seed, and quinoa, you are bound to find a flavor to appreciate.
While all varieties receive high praise, the sweet potato tortilla chips reign supreme. One Kroger customer calls these chips "better than corn chips" and claims that their friends who don't like sweet potatoes still enjoy them. Another reviewer on Amazon proclaims, "These chips have a real sweet potato flavor and they're not too thin. They're a sturdy chip holding up to dips, crispy, and big in size. I'm totally sold on them." The sweet potato tortilla chips are crunchy with just a hint of sweetness for a satisfying snack. If you love sweet potato fries or tots, you will love these chips.