Food & Drink

How to Survive the Great NYC Frito-Lay Blackout of 2018

Alternative Chips in the Absence of All the Chips You Hold Dear

By Kady Ruth Ashcraft ·
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NYC is soon to face a shortage of Frito-Lay chips in our beloved bodegas. Pepsi Co., which owns Frito-Lay, issued a pay cut of up to 33% for its drivers, forcing many of them to quit. It's a basic economic lesson in distribution and supply: even if you have a bunch of delicious chips, if there's no one to haul them around, it's like there are no delicious chips! (I studied poetry in college.)

In an article in the Post, a snack shop owner in Midtown said he hasn't been able to get Frito-Lay products for up to three months. Luckily, Frito-Lay products have a shelf-life of about two centuries, so they won't be going bad anytime soon. But people gobble them up faster than that! Brands that Frito-Lay distributes include Doritos, Cheetos, Fritos, Lays, Sun Chips, Tostitos, Ruffles, Stacy's, and SmartFood. If you're thinking, "that seems like literally every type of chip that exists," you're, like, 98% right. But fortunately for you, while I majored in poetry, I minored in snack food. To prepare for what seems like the quickly approaching Frito-Lay Blackout of 2018, here are other great chip (and chip-adjacent) bodega snacks to stock up on. 


If I were to make an Alignment System delineating where all types of chips fell from chaotic evil to lawful good, Pringles would happily occupy lawful good. In these dark times lawful good is dependable, it is consistent, it is neatly stacked in a container that doesn't make excessive noise.

Utz Crab Chips
Utz has always been a good alternative to Lays chips. They aren't as flashy and their origins are in dirty ol' Baltimore, but they're reliable and have something Lays do not have: crab flavor. Currently, Lays only sells their crab chips in Thailand, and it's surely because Utz has the U.S. market on lock. It brings the joy of eating crabs without the embarrassment of not knowing how to properly eat crabs. 

Zapp's VooDoo Chips
Zapp's VooDoo chips are hands down the best chips of all-time. What flavor are they? They are VooDoo flavor, which means they taste magical. They're a mix of BBQ and salt and vinegar kettle chips with a dash of Old Bay seasoning and they taste as good completely sober as they do when you are drunk (which not all chips can attest to!). Also the packaging they come in is fun, which is an extra treat. 

Look, I'm not happy about this either. In no other timeline can pretzels be considered chips, but we're running on the fumes of Cheetos dust here, okay? Besides, there are flavored pretzels! Like honey mustard and extra salt. And technically, pretzels are healthy for you? This is something I've convinced myself of only because they don't leave an orange residue on my fingers. 

Cape Cod Kettle Chips
The best kettle chips are Cape Cod brand. And while the packaging might look like a quaint roadside treat, it delivers the aggressive crunch and oil you need from a bodega chip. They even have waffle cut chips, which look like small rafts that will buoy us until this godforsaken blackout is over. 

Kady Ruth Ashcraft

Kady Ruth Ashcraft is a writer, comedian, filmmaker, and Amtrak Princess. Follow her on twitter @kadyrabbit and tweet her pictures of your pets.

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