If you love potato chips, you might have tried Pringles, the parabola-shaped stackable snack that comes in a sturdy can. But did you know that Pringles are not really potato chips? In fact, they are not even made from potatoes, but from dehydrated processed potato, corn, rice and wheat. And they have a uniform shape that is not found in nature.
Pringles have been around for so long that they have become a household name. But they have also faced some legal challenges over their identity. In 1975, the FDA ruled that Pringles could only be labeled as “chips” if they included a disclaimer identifying them as “potato chips made from dried potatoes”. Pringles decided to use the term “crisps” instead.
The British government also weighed in on the Pringles question. When Pringles began selling in the UK, they tried to dodge a tax that applies to junk foods like crisps (confusingly, all chips are called “crisps” in Britain, because “chips” are fries). Pringles tried to convince the court that they weren’t chips or crisps, because their shape “wasn’t found in nature.” The British court ruled that the potato-based ingredients in Pringles suffice to make them crisps.
Pringles have loyal fans who enjoy fun flavors like pizza and Reubens. But they also have critics who dislike their musty flavor and lack of potato taste. One of them is Danny Palumbo, a writer for The Takeout. He says: “I’ve never been big on Pringles. When it comes to potato chips, I tend to value a distinct potato flavor above all else, and Pringles just don’t have it.”
But there’s another canister snack out there that claims to do Pringles better than Pringles. It’s called The Good Crisp Company, and it was founded by Matt Parry, an Australian father of three daughters who wanted to create healthier snacks without artificial ingredients. He says: “I bring to you, The Good Crisp Company.”
The Good Crisp Company makes chips that look like Pringles, but with simpler ingredients: dehydrated potatoes, palm oil, tapioca starch, salt, sugar, and white pepper. They also come in different flavors like sour cream and onion, cheese and onion, and barbecue. Palumbo praises them as “a damn good, poppable, stacked-in-a-can chip that’s free of artificial ingredients and big on simple flavor.”
But are they really healthier and guilt-free? Not so fast. Palumbo points out that the nutritional facts are not much different from Pringles. They are still high in fat and salt. He says: “There isn’t that much of a health advantage to Good Crisp chips; they’re still an amalgamation of dehydrated potatoes fried in oil and can only be so good for you.”
So which canister snack is better: Pringles or The Good Crisp Company? It depends on your preference and taste buds. Some might prefer the original Pringles for their variety and nostalgia. Others might opt for the newcomer The Good Crisp Company for their simplicity and flavor. Either way, you can’t go wrong with a crunchy snack that fits in your hand.
What do you think? Have you tried both Pringles and The Good Crisp Company? Which one do you like better? Let us know in the comments below!
– This Is Why Pringles Aren’t Really Potato Chips, Taste of Home, May 01, 2020
– There’s a Better Pringle Than Pringles, The Takeout, January 9, 2023
– Are Pringles Chips or Crisps?, Chips & Crisps, January 12, 2023