Every Christmas the good Octopedes of old London town run the rule over some sort of festive food. Previous years have seen us tackle mince pies, sandwiches and sweets. And now we’re having a look at everyone’s favourite starchy snack in…..
Over the course of December (and a bit of November) some 19 bags of crisps have been sampled, savoured and reviewed by our dedicated teams, valiantly eschewing their day-to-day responsibilities in the name of frivolous seasonal content.
We’ve had the delicious (turkey and stuffing legs), the bougie (black truffle) and the downright disgusting (cheese and cranberry). With everything scored on packaging (branding innit), aesthetics, price, taste, texture and the delightfully unquantifiable Christmas factor.
Here’s our pick of the packs…
So. The big one. The favourite crisp at OG this Christmas is Morrison’s Pigs in Blankets.
Pigs. Blankets. Crisps. What’s not to love?
These topped the rankings, with impressive scores across the board. And were described by in house demand generator, Luke Whitton, as ‘the best and most authentic pig in blanket flavoured crisp I've ever tasted.’
“Interestingly,” the Morrison’s PiBs scored significantly higher than both their Waitrose and Co-op counterparts. And you can take from that what you will.
Also towards the top of the tree, we find Sainsbury’s roast turkey and herb stuffing #basicbitch offering, described by Crisp Co-ordinator Giles Shorthouse as, ‘Christmas in a bag.’ And Co-op’s turkey and stuffing legs, which gained impressive scores for aesthetics from all except for PR Account Executive Charlotte Martin, who commented: ‘this wasn't crispy at all - why is everyone lying?’
Charlotte has since left the company.
Crisp and even
The middle of the pack is a buffet of flavours, styles and textures. All still crisps, though.
Gaining neither wild praise nor snack damnation we have a black truffle number from Waitrose (it could only be them, couldn’t it?), which generally split opinion on aroma and taste. ‘Perfect,’ said Head of Media and crisp aficionado, Fira Shukurova. ‘Indulgent,’ said Head of Talent, Ellie McCluskey. ‘Awful,’ said Giles Shorthouse, although he was almost certainly expecting truffles of the chocolate persuasion.
There’s also a frankly bizarre cauliflower cheese crisp from Co-op, several other turkey/PiB varietals (to borrow a wine buff term), the Walker’s brussels sprout publicity stunt crisp, and Sainsbury’s baked camembert and rosemary flavour, which is my personal favourite. Although the latter did attract opprobrium from certain (wrong) quarters.
However, I want to draw attention here to a product that demonstrates the most shocking lack of imagination in all of Crispendom: the Co-op Ultimate Roast Potato flavour.
A roast potato crisp, everybody. A crisp, made of potatoes cooked in oil, that is marketed as tasting of potatoes cooked in oil. No doubt the product of a 5:25pm brainstorming session, concocted by some bloke phoning it in for an easy day at work.
Anyway, back to my blog about crisps.
You’ve ruined Crispmas
And so we come to the bottom of the bag. The dusty offerings. The discarded shards left on pub tables, soaking themselves in spillings of lager and mulled wine. Crisps so bad they make you wonder why you even bother.
Propping up the leaderboard at OG is a festive Christmas tree tortilla (?!) from Morrison’s. ‘Just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it has to be depressing,’ said Nic Jones. ‘Looks like sick,’ said Luke Whitton, who must have some odd shaped sick. ‘Would look great in a bowl,’ said fan of putting things in a bowl, Giles Shorthouse.
The tortillas attracted a score of just 29.75. Which won’t mean anything as it’s the first time scoring has been mentioned. But for context the winner got 50.
Joining it at the bottom we find a cheese and cranberry flavour from Walker’s, which shows that like pizza, fruit has no place on a crisp. Another turkey and blah. And Walker’s Boris Johnson inspired glazed ham flavour, to which Account Executive Mariam Hannah simply commented ‘NO’. Although, she said the same to many flavours, begging the question, does she even like crisps?
And that’s it for our Christmas food round up until next year when we’ll do stollen or something I imagine.
All that’s left to say is Merry Christmas from Octopus Group, and if we managed to convince you to buy some crisps then why not buy some marketing services from us or something.