I Tried All 8 PopCorners Flavors and the Winner Won't Be Around for Long

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There’s nothing better than finding a versatile chip for all of your summer snacking needs. And popular popcorn chip PopCorners has released their newest flavor just in time for all of your outdoor parties—or for snacking on the couch in the a/c. 

PopCorners are cool because they aren’t fried like your standard chips; they’re made using a “patented air-popping technique that combines heat and moisture under compression” according to PopCorners. You also might not know that PopCorners flavors are vast and wide—eight flavors in total after the brand’s newest release. Considering that, I thought it was the perfect time to do a crunchy power ranking of the crispy, crunchy snack. 

How I Tested the PopCorners 

Because it’s more fun to snack with friends, I called a couple of pals to help me out (and of course they would; who would turn down free snacks?), grabbed some notebooks and we got to work. To create this ranking, we tried the chips blind at first by putting handfuls of each flavor into small aluminum containers and marking them with PostIt notes. The next round of tasting was done straight from the bag. After we were done tasting, we conferred and crowned our winner.

Read on for all the salty, crunchy details on all eight PopCorners flavors and our definitive PopCorners ranking, from worst to best. 

Related: Aldi Is Selling a Super Cute Chip & Dip Set for $7 Just in Time for Summer Party Season

8 PopCorners Flavors, Ranked Worst to Best

popcorners chips

All of the PopCorners Chips Flavors

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

8. Sea Salt

sea salt popcorners

Sea Salt 

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

The plainest of the bunch, Sea Salt didn’t exactly leave us wanting more. “It was bland; I’d rather just have a tortilla chip,” said my friend Chérie. “No flavor at all. This was my least favorite of the batch,” added my friend Matt. I agreed with both of them. The Sea Salt flavor wasn’t too salty, making it a good neutral chip if you’re going to use it for a salsa or other dip, but eating it straight out of the bag? There are better flavors for your Netflix binge sesh than this one. 

7. Sour Cream & Onion

sour cream onion popcorners

Sour Cream & Onion

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

When you want sour cream and onion, you want that flavor to reach out of the bag and really hit you. And for Popcorners, this was another miss. “This was a very bland chip and I didn’t enjoy it,” Matt said followed by a “meh” from Chérie. You really couldn’t tell that this one was sour cream and onion at all, even when I revealed that it was the flavor they were eating (and that flavor is usually pretty recognizable). Pass on this bag and grab the Ruffles instead. 

6. Sweet Chili

sweet chili popcorners

Sweet Chili 

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

It took three different trips to the store to track down this flavor, and I was pretty excited to finally find these at the bodega down the street from me. I had high hopes for these because when I think of sweet chili, I think of the sweet chili sauce that comes with my beloved crab rangoons when I order takeout. However, PopCorners has a completely different description on their website: “The paprika, onion & garlic brings together a signature taste that rivals your best game day chili recipe.” Stumped, we dug in and found that the taste of these was neither sweet chili sauce or sweet game-day chili. I even checked the bottom of the bag to see if some of the chili flavor had flaked off (it had not). This one was deemed “less flavorful” and “not great” by my friend panel but we still toyed with the idea of grinding these up and using them as a coating for chicken or tofu.

reaching for chips

Reaching for one of our favorites

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

Related: This Popular and Delicious Snack Could Zap Belly Fat, According to Registered Dietitians

5. Spicy Queso

spicy queso popcorners

Spicy Queso

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

We unanimously agreed that this one was reminiscent of Taco Bell’s red sauce. “This chip had the look of a Dorito,” Matt said. He wasn’t wrong, but it certainly didn’t taste like a Dorito. It had a bit of zip to it, but it “wasn’t too spicy.” Chérie noticed at this point in our tasting that one side of the PopCorners chips had more flavoring than the other, leading us to turn the chips over and examine the flavor dust and curvature of our snacks like we were PopCorners paleontologists. We agreed that for this bag of Spicy Queso, we could take it or leave it (but I liked it a bit more than Matt and Chérie and could see this one pairing nicely with a big bowl of guac). 

4. White Cheddar

white cheddar popcorners

White Cheddar

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

“This was the best one. Reminded me of Smartfood but in a chip vessel,” Matt said, and with that comment, this one came in the middle of our ranking. Chérie and I were both reminded of one of our favorite snacks, the World’s Puffiest White Cheddar Corn Puffs from Trader Joe’s. It was our first time trying this one and while the white cheddar flavor was mild (certainly milder and not as messy as Smartfood or the TJ puffs), reviewers online complain that this one isn’t as good as it used to be and wonder if there was a recent recipe change.  

popcorners chips lineup

PopCorners chip lineup

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

3. Kettle Corn

kettle corn popcorners

Kettle Corn

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

This one reminded us of going to a county fair, both in taste and smell. It was a “decent chip” with a “good flavor profile” and “nice salt level” but two out of three of us thought it had a weird aftertaste. I could see this one being a terrific car snack for road trips, packed in a lunch box or used as a vessel for fresh fruit salsa. If you see this flavor at the store, grab a bag (or three). 

Recent: Kettle Brand Chips’ New Korean-Inspired Flavor Will Delight Your Taste Buds

2. Cinnamon Crunch

cinnamon crunch popcorners

Cinnamon Crunch

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

Taco Bell came up more than once in conversation in our taste-testing of PopCorners (we weren’t mad about it). “These make me want Taco Bell Cinnamon Twists,” Chérie said, and we agreed that this purple bag of PopCorners was pretty dessert-y and reminded us of churros in chip form. This isn’t one that you’d take alongside your sandwich at lunch, Matt noted, but it’s one to keep in the pantry if you like a good crunchy/salty/sweet combo.

1. Jalapeno Popper

jalapeno popper popcorners

Jalapeno Popper

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

The newest in PopCorners’ portfolio, this one ranked number one, even with Matt who doesn’t enjoy spicy foods. “These tasted good, were spicy and had a decent kick,” he said. “Even in my spice ignorance, I still found this one flavorful.” Chérie and I agreed that they were the best of the bunch, with a slight tang from the cream cheese flavor and a mild heat from the jalapenos. These are a limited edition flavor, but we liked them so much we’d advise you to grab as many bags as you can carry if you find ’em at your grocery store; they were that good. 

Next: Lay’s Launches Zesty New Potato Chip Flavor Perfect for Summer

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