Monday, 16 April 2012

The Showdown of the Australian Slow Cooked Chips

I promised this a few weeks back during my investigative review of Smiths Chips, but have been too busy...

The battle for the Ultimate Slow Cooked Potato Chips has begun.

In the black corner - Kettle Chips, who brought to Australia, Slow Cooked Chips.
In the blue corner - Red Rock Deli Chips by the American-owned Smiths Chips company, who followed Kettle Chips a couple years later, and then took a while to get the texture/crunchiness right.
And in the brown corner - the latest contender, ALSO by the American-owned Smiths Chips company, being released under the main Smiths Chips logo... as Extra Crunchy.

I chose the plain variety as a fair comparison, as there wasn't any flavour that was done by all three.  Since Smiths Extra Crunchy were copying Kettle's flavours, there was a Red Rock flavour (Chilli and Sea Salt) that would have been close enough to the Chilli flavour (because they all have salt in them), but figured that the results would be disputed if they weren't exact.

So, plain it is...

Which made it difficult to differentiate between Kettle and Red Rock.  Red Rock have managed to copy Kettle Chips so well, that I wouldn't be able to tell them apart, visually or by taste.
Smiths Extra Crunchy on the other hand - VERY SALTY.
It wasn't too obvious when I was just reviewing the range of Extra Crunchy Chips, but while eating the three competitors, these stood out as a lot saltier than the existing two brands.
I guess it'll take Smiths Chips a couple years again to get their "imitation Kettle Chips" right on this their second version.

In summary, if wanting Slow Cooked Chips, go for the original Kettle ones, or the bigger range of Red Rock Deli. Since Smiths Extra Crunchy only intend to copy Kettle Chips during its launch, and haven't done it very well, you might as well stick to the brand & flavours they tried to imitate.

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