I love it when companies do things like this. Lay's has been great in the past for coming out with new unique flavors. Every year since at least 2013, they'll showcase 3-4 unique flavors in some sort of contest, and only have them around for a limited time.
In 2013 there was Chicken and Waffle, Sriracha, and Cheesy Garlic Bread.
2014 brought Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, Cappuccino, Mango Salsa, and Wasabi Ginger.
2015 had West Coast Truffle Fries, New York Reuben, Greektown Gyro, and Southern Biscuits and Gravy.
2016 showcased Chinese Szechaun Chicken, Brazilian Picanha, Greek Tzatziki, and Indian Tikka Masala.
2017 had Everything Bagel with cream cheese, Crispy Taco, Smoked Gouda and Honey, and Avocado Toast.
Now in 2018, Lay's is stepping up their game and offering 12 special flavors, with 8 of those flavors being brand new. This year chip flavors are inspired by different regions of America.
From west to east, this years flavors are: West Coast Truffle Fries (returning), Thai Sweet Chili, Chile Con Queso, Fried Pickles with Ranch, Bacon Wrapped Jalepeno Popper (returning), Fried Green Tomatoes (returning), Deep Dish Pizza, Cajun Spice, Ketchup (returning), Pimento Cheese, Chesapeake Bay Crab Spice, and New England Lobster Roll.
However, a major obstacle to trying them all is that many of the flavors are only offered in the region they represent. So out here in California I'm sure to find West Coast Truffle Fries, but won't be able to get Deep Dish Pizza or New England Lobster Roll.
Thankfully for those of us who are completists, Lays offers a sampler pack online with all the different flavors...
Or at least they were supposed to. Demand was pretty overwhelming and despite checking in the days leading up to, and the day they were released, I didn't have any luck getting a sampler box.
I'm lucky to have a brother who is watching out for me on things like this. He was online at 6am, saw they were available and ordered one to ship to me. Thanks Patrick!
I was very happy to see that all 12 bags arrived intact. From hearing others' experiences, including my brother, many people had bags arrive damaged with multiple open bags and loose chips all over the place. No such problem with these though. Everything arrived sealed.
I'm going to try that one, and that one, and that one...
It's way more fun to try things like this in a group.
There were definitely some favorites as well as some none of us would care to try again.
Except we did do it all again when we visited family for Labor Day.
The kids certainly had favorites. But would they match up with everyone else?
Who doesn't love ketchup? (Aubrey, but that's just weird)
The ketchup flavored chip was my favorite out of all of them.
Also tasty, though not enough truffle flavor to my liking. They're supposed to represent french fries and they're thick potato chips.
When I read about this one, I had my doubts. Fishy chips? Eww.
No fish taste in these at all. The consensus was some kind of ranch flavor.
Not bad, not great. It was a spicy chip.
A cheesy chip.
Another cheesy chip.
And a sweet and spicy chip.
I really wanted to like this one when I first saw the name. Pizza is my most favorite food.
This one had all the right flavors, a tomatoey pizza sauce flavor with a hint of cheese. I don't know why I didn't like it more, but something just didn't connect with me.
I could taste what they were going for, but it wasn't my favorite.
I'm not a fan of pickles so... no surprise. They tasted like dill.
The bacon flavor is too artificial for me on these.
Do you like the flavor of a bay leaf? What about putting a bay leaf in your mouth and chewing on it? That's what I was getting from these. Way too much bay leaf flavor that overpowered anything else.
Keep it up Lay's!