Oct. 24, 2012 at 3:08 PM ET
Pringles has carved out a comfortable niche in America's snack food psyche with its salt-laced and impossibly thin potatocrisps. When the chips first became available in America in 1968, we popped — and we really couldn't stop.
But there comes a time in every popular snack's life when its makers decide that something new is in order. Remember Crystal Pepsi? New Coke? We know how successful those were. Now it's Pringles' turn. Come November, you’ll find three new holiday flavors — White Chocolate Peppermint, Cinnamon and Sugar and Pumpkin Pie Spice — next to the standard flavors of our favorite curvaceous crisps. And like many holiday-themed treats, they’re sweet. Well, sweeter.
They’re actually both sweet and savory, at the same time. The classic Pringles chip flavor you know and love is still packed in there somewhere; it’s just gussied up with sugar and seasonal ingredients.
So why didn’t the people behind Pringles just spring for a fully sweet chip? Well, they don’t seem to think we’re ready for a potato crisp revolution.
“We wanted to explore unique flavor offerings, while remaining loyal to the savory flavor varieties our fans know and love,” Pringles’ associate marketing director Angela Gusse told TODAY.com.
As anyone who enjoys a bag of kettle corn or cinnamon sugar pita chips will insist, salty-sweet flavor combinations can actually be quite good. So how do these Pringles flavors fare?
The cinnamon sugar variety rated best in our office taste test, probably because its flavor is reminiscent of two nostalgic foods: Classic Pringles and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. Unfortunately, the cinnamon is a little too subtle — not that that stopped any of our staffers from going back for more.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Pringles pack a more distinctive punch, actually tasting something like their name suggests — at least at first. The pumpkin pie spice quickly faded, leaving a soapy taste lingering on the tongue. But some stood by the crisps, deeming them their favorite of the bunch.
Last and decidedly least came the real black sheep of the holiday pack: White Chocolate Peppermint. The Huffington Post referred to them as a “horrible abomination to humanity,” and we, unfortunately, have to agree. As one staffer described it, it tastes like a Pringle with "a thin layer of toothpaste on it." We now know the result of knocking over a bottle of mouthwash on an open container of Pringles. We've learned our lesson: No Pringles in the bathroom. No one went for seconds.
While this is the first time Pringles has ventured into sweet territory in the U.S. market, they’ve experimented more freely abroad with interesting flavors like Cinnamon Sweet Potato and Blueberry Hazelnut.
For now, this year’s limited edition holiday pack left us wanting. Pick up a tube for yourself when they debut nationwide in early November for $1.79. Note: Pumpkin Pie Spice is only available at Walmart.
Danika Fears is a TODAY.com intern who prefers Lays to Pringles, but would consider a conversion if offered those Cinnamon Sweet Potato chips.