Review: Trader Joe’s Sweet & Salty Popcorn Chips

Trader Joe’s snack game is on point, do their Sweet & Salty Popcorn Chips match their high standards?

Chip scorecard (all scores out of 10):

Flavor accuracy: 8

Flavor quality: 8

Aftertaste: 7

Bag quality: 1

Overall: 7.5

There is a tiny grocery store near our house. It’s run by one of the big chains, but it has to be one of their smallest locations across the region. With that in mind, I have made it my personal goal to force them to close down, and for Trader Joe’s to move in sometime in the next five years. The point in me saying this is just to get it out in the open that my fandom for Trader Joe’s should be stamped on any review I do of their products.

Today, we cracked into a bag of their Sweet & Salty Popcorn chips, and loved every bite. These miniature rice cake-shaped chips make for a delicious snack, amazingly true to their sweet & salty name. It’s like the deliciousness of kettle corn in a slightly less “I need to floss immediately after eating them” kind of way.

It should also be mentioned that the powder that accumulated at the bottom of the bag following a full session eating a whole bag of these things was delicious.

But I do have two, very major, complaints.

First, the bag is about the same size as a standard two-serving potato chip bag and costs in that range as well. But there’s no way this Trader Joe’s product is supposed to last more than one snacking session. The bags are deceptive in this regard. C’mon TJ’s, offer us a bigger bag of this good stuff if you’re going to charge us the same price as other snacks.

Second, and this will probably require a long-form editorial article down the road, I cannot stand when chip bags have little tear slots at the top (see above photograph). This is a major design flaw among some major chip brands, with Kettle Brand being the worst offender. Trader Joe’s has for some reason adopted a similar schematic. The process of opening a chip bag wide at the top was likely perfected sometime in the 1970s, no sense trying to get creative with it. This made enjoying the crumbs at the bottom unnecessarily more difficult as well, with me awkwardly folding down the bag’s opening one-third down from the top, trying to force the crumbs to navigate a river-like path of bag folds into my mouth. Major deductions in points for this.

Overall, we do recommend the snack for taste, but buy an extra bag if you want to enjoy more than one serving.


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