Sunday, September 21, 2014

Another Underwhelming Experimental Flavor: Lay’s Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Potato Chips Disappoint!

The Good: Inexpensive, Some of the chips have a decent flavor to them
The Bad: Most of the chips have less flavor than they ought to, Not great on the health front
The Basics: Lay’s Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese potato chips were a flavor of potato chip I was most excited to try . . . but they were ultimately disappointing for how little flavor they had.

Ever since I tried the new Lay’s experimental potato chip flavor Cappuccino (reviewed here!), I have been wanting to try the Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese flavor that I discovered only through an advertisement on the bag. The Cappuccino and Lay’s Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Lay’s potato chips are part of this year’s “Vote To Save” a flavor contest through Lay’s. In my little corner of Northern Michigan, the Lay’s Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese have been so popular that even my wife’s friend, who is on the distribution end of Frito-Lay, could not get us a bag. So, there is something to be said for the fact that I eagerly devoted a chunk of my trip to visit my family in New York to finding the Lay’s Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese potato chips. I was that excited by the idea of this flavor.

Thus, it is not an understatement to say that I was truly disappointed when I finally tracked down a bag of the Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Lay’s potato chips and my wife and I eagerly sampled from it. The flavor was hit or miss on the chips and the erratic experience of eating the Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese chips made them not at all worth the effort of hunting them across three states!


Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Lay’s, are a potato chip made from one of the world’s dominant salty snack producers, Frito-Lay. The Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Lay’s chips feature an occasional dusting of moderately-flavored powder on most of the potato chips. This could have been a great flavor if the chips were more uniformly dusted with the flavoring.

Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Lay’s come in a 9.5 oz. bag and are available for a limited time as fans vote to keep them around. At a regular price in the $4.29 range, they are pretty much the standard price for these types of snacks.

Ease Of Preparation

Lay’s Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese are simple to consume; all you need do it open the bag and remove the potato chips from it! There is no trick to eating Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Lay’s; they are a snack that is ready to go from the bag to the mouth.


Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Lay’s smell strongly of bacon. The aroma is decent, but there is nothing in the smell that even hints at cheddar cheese.

In the mouth, the Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Lay’s potato chips taste like the aftertaste of bacon. The flavor is a somewhat fatty, salty flavor and it is the most consistent flavor throughout the bag of chips. The memory of bacon is not enough to sell the Lay’s Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese chips for what they claim to be. Interestingly, some of the chips had a full bacon flavor and some even carried a pasta flavor that might indicate they had been part of macaroni. There is virtually no cheese flavor to even those chips that bear the stronger bacon or pasta flavor to them.

The Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Lay’s have a greasy aftertaste, which is consistent with the vaguely bacon flavor on some of the chips.


Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Lay’s are a fairly natural snack, with, surprisingly, none of the ingredients being unrecognizable! The primary ingredients are potatoes, vegetable oil, and Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese seasoning. This has a shelf life of only a few months, so it is not the ideal salty snack to stock up on.

Each 1 oz., 15 chip, serving of Lay’s Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese has 160 calories, ninety of which come from fat. There is a single gram of dietary fiber. While there are only 10 grams of fat and 2 grams of protein, the Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Lay’s potato chips have only 140 mg of sodium, which represents 6% of one's RDA of sodium, which is less than many potato chips. There is a smattering of Potassium, Thiamin, Niacin, and Iron, but no other vitamins or minerals. This is not a health snack. There is a dietary note that the Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese includes milk ingredients, which prevents them from being Vegan compliant, at the very least.


Kept in their bag, Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Lay’s will remain fresh for only a few months – the bag I bought just over a week ago had an expiration date of October 21 – so this is not an ideal flavor to stock up on. Once the bag is opened, it must be resealed, lest they get stale. I've not had to deal with issues of freshness for my Lay’s potato chips because usually once they are opened, I consume them fairly fast!

Cleanup is simple as well. Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Lay’s are a dry food, but because they are salty, greasy, and easily broken, they will require one to wash their hands afterward and should be wiped up to clean up.


Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Lay’s are unimpressive and do not quite live up to the full promised flavor. The ones that come close are at least flavorful enough to be interesting, but these are far from an extraordinary flavor worth keeping around.

For other Frito-Lay snacks, check out my reviews of:
Lays Chicken & Waffle Potato Chips
Ruffles Max Loaded Bacon And Cheddar Potato Skins potato chips
Tostitos Hint Of Lime chips


For other food and drink reviews, please visit my Food And Drink Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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