So Good Readers, it’s Monday and I’m back!  Who? Me, your friendly neighborhood Junk Food Guy, silly.  With September fast approaching, it’s only a matter of time before stores have Christmas stuff on display.  No, seriously – I swear I saw some stockings already poking out at the ends of aisles.  You gotta be kidding me, Walgreens.

As I was grocery shopping yesterday, I saw these:

New Lay's Air Pops

New Lay’s Original Potato Air Pops are Frito-Lay’s attempt at getting in on the air popped chip craze…I guess.  I mean, Pop Chips, Pop Corners, and Popcorn Indiana Chip’ins have been around for a while now…like a LONG while now. Still, it’s always interesting to see a big company recognize that smaller companies are dominating a niche, and then try to go in and dominate it themselves.  Will Frito-Lay succeed here?  Unsure..to find out, I bought each of Frito-Lay’s Air Pop line: Original Potato, Sour Cream & Onion, and Barbeque.

Let’s dig in, shall we? First up: Original Potato!

New Lay's Original Potato Air Pops

New Lay's Original Potato Air Pops

New Lay's Original Potato Air Pops

New Lay's Original Potato Air Pops

The first thing I noticed about these New Lay’s Original Potato Air Pops was they were a little less crunchy than Pop Chips.  They were flatter – Pop Chips had a puffier crispiness than these Lay’s Air Pops.  Still it wasn’t like these Air Pops were bad – these Original Potato chips had great potato flavor, and a nice saltiness to them.  They were definitely light, and could serve as a nice alternative to potato chips.  Think of these almost like a light potato-based cracker.  Would I eat these over regular Lay’s? Probably not.

Next: Sour Cream & Onion Air Pops!

New Lay's Sour Cream & Onion Air Pops

New Lay's Sour Cream & Onion Air Pops

New Lay's Sour Cream & Onion Air Pops

The New Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion Air Pops left a lot to be desired.  The chip consistency again was a bit flatter than Pop Chips.  The Air Pops were still crispy and had a nice lightness to them, and definitely tasted like potato.  My problem was I didn’t get much of that great Sour Cream flavor – I got salt, and I got onion.  There wasn’t very much creaminess at all to these Air Pops, and which is weird since normal Lay’s potato chips tend to have a very nice creaminess.  And there seemed to be plenty of flavor powder too!  What WAS all that powder, if not sour cream???  Man. These fell flat for me.

Finally: Barbeque Air Pops!

New Lay's Barbeque Air Pops

New Lay's Barbeque Air Pops

New Lay's Barbeque Air Pops

Of the three offerings, the New Lay’s Barbeque Air Pops were probably the most satisfying and packed with flavor.  As soon as I opened the bag, I could smell that familiar Lays Barbeque Chip sweet BBQ smell.  It flowed out, all smoky like.  As soon as I popped one of these chips into my mouth, I could immediately taste that sweet barbeque smoky flavor.  Unlike the Sour Cream & Onion flavor, the flavor profile of these particular Air Pops did a good job mimicking their non-Air Pop counterparts.  The flavor was well presented and bold, and the sweet BBQ sauce had a nice little burn/kick at the end.  These were definitely my favorite of the three flavors.

All in all, these Air Pops were not bad, and I commend Frito-Lay for finally getting in on the air-popped-chip-game.  However, given the choice between these and Pop Chips, I’d still opt for Pop Chips.  Sorry, Frito-Lay!  This may all change once you release your Chicken and Waffles, Sriracha, and Cheesy Garlic Bread Air Pops, I just know it.

As far as these current flavors, I’d rank them BBQ, Original, and Sour Cream & Onion last.  Kinda pricey at $2.99 retail….but then again, Pop Chips are damn expensive too.  You’d think with more air added, you’d have lower prices!!! Guess not.

PURCHASED AT: Giant Food Grocery

COST: $2.50 each on sale

Thoughts? Please comment below or hit me up on Twitter @junkfoodguy and read more reviews at JunkFoodGuy.com. Let’s hang out.

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