Lay's BLT, Cuban, And Buffalo Chicken Sandwich-Inspired Chips Review: They're Not Exactly Sandwich Substitutes

Any good sandwich should come with a side of chips, but what you do with them is up to you. Some scarf them down as they are, some dip them in ranch or top them with mustard, and others add chips to their sandwiches as a crunchy topping. Whether you find yourself advocating for chips in the sandwich or the chip-out camp, Lay's is setting out to call a temporary truce this summer with three limited-time-only flavors that give you the full chips and sandwich effect no matter how you eat them.

Lay's introduced BLT Sandwich, Baked Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, and Wavy Cuban Sandwich chips to the snack-loving public who also have a hankering for some of America's favorite sandwiches. Hitting shelves just in time for picnic season, each variety intends to provide the full flavor profile of a beloved sandwich in a single chip, giving you the flavors of both the entrée and the side in every bite. And with each flavor offered in a different Lay's chip style, you'll really need to try them all to appreciate the spectrum. In the meantime, we took an early taste of all three limited-time-only sandwich-inspired chip flavors, and here's what you need to know before a summer of snacking.

What ingredients are in them?

They're potato chips, so you'd hope the first ingredient in each variety would be potato, and it is (dried potato, in the case of Baked Buffalo Chicken Sandwich). From there, it's pretty much oils, sugar, and a collection of spices and seasonings. Overall, only BLT Sandwich contains any artificial flavorings, which is a pleasant surprise, and you'll recognize nearly every ingredient in all three bags. For the extra conscious, here's a brief look at what's specifically inside each sandwich-inspired bag.

BLT Sandwich chips contain flavorings of sour cream, tomato powder, and brown sugar, among common ingredients like salt and sugar. If you're wondering where the bacon comes into play, so are we. More on that later. The specific artificial flavoring added to this recipe is unclear, as the only synthetic ingredients listed by name also appear in the other two varieties, indicating they're likely included for reasons other than flavoring (like preservatives). Still, it's the only variety not advertising "no artificial flavors," and does specifically indicate "naturally and artificially flavored" on the front of the bag. Baked Buffalo Chicken Sandwich has standout flavor ingredients of hot sauce, sour cream, cheddar cheese, tomato powder, and chicken powder, which is just another name for chicken bouillon. Wavy Cuban Sandwich chips don't contain many standouts other than brown sugar, skim milk, and both cheddar and Swiss cheeses. Those with more common allergies and sensitives should take note that all three contain dairy, and Baked Buffalo Chicken Sandwich chips also contain soy.

What do they cost?

You won't find large bags of these three sandwich-inspired chip flavors, and the silver lining there is you won't encounter big price tags either. Both BLT Sandwich and Wavy Cuban Sandwich are available in 7.75-ounce bags with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $4.79 and 2.625-ounce bags with an MSRP of $2.49. Baked Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, on the other hand, carries the same two suggested price points, but for slightly smaller bags of 6.25 ounces and 1.875 ounces, respectively.

Because these are limited-time-only varieties, scarcity will increase over time and you'll likely start to find these popping up on resale sites like eBay more frequently. There's no need to spring for those inflated prices yet, while all three varieties are still on shelves, but they're already appearing for costs up to $13.99 for Baked Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, $13.25 for BLT Sandwich, and $12.73 for Wavy Cuban Sandwich at time of writing. If you find that you won't be able to live without any of these, stock up now while you can still pay standard store prices.

How long will they be available and where are they sold?

All three varieties of Lay's sandwich-inspired chip flavors dropped nationwide on May 3, 2023. These are limited-time-only products that Lay's expects to be widely available through summer, but that could vary by demand in your area. Expect them to disappear from supermarkets and other large stores on schedule and to either sell out early or linger longer at smaller venues like independent convenience stores, bodegas, and delis.

As you may have gathered from the above availability, you should be able to find Baked Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, Wavy Cuban Sandwich, and BLT Sandwich chips anywhere you typically find big-name brands of potato chips in general. You'll definitely find them in supermarkets and other large-scale retailers like Walmart and Target, but you should often be able to find them at gas stations and convenience stores, too. And, as we've pointed out earlier, online vendors on Amazon and resellers like eBay are sure to have bags available even longer than you'll find them in stores.

How do they compare to other Lay's chips?

Lay's is so famous for its inventive, and often eyebrow-raising, flavor creations that even fake Lay's flavors gain traction on social media. They're parodies produced by fans and satirists, so they have no actual connection to the company itself, but they sure are good marketing for Lay's so we're pretty sure no one at headquarters is complaining. Comparing the new sandwich-inspired chips to other Lay's specialty varieties is like comparing apples to oranges (or more like comparing Cuban sandwiches to chicken and waffles), so we won't even attempt that absurdity. We will say that there are only so many flavors that seem to shine through on a mass-produced chip, though, so most of these limited-time offerings tend to reshuffle the same ingredients and, therefore, not taste dramatically different. That doesn't make them any less fun, though.

Speaking of those apparently limited flavor profiles, we did find that BLT Sandwich chips were curiously reminiscent of barbecue potato chips, so we did a side-by-side comparison for further analysis. When eaten together, it's clear that there's a distinct difference, with real barbecue packing considerably more sweetness and tang than BLT Sandwich. Still, there's no denying that BLT Sandwich is essentially not much different than a toned-down barbecue flavor option. The mellowness of these chips could be appreciated by those traditionally put off by extreme barbecue flavors.

How do the nutrition labels stack up?

To compare nutritional values between these three sandwich-inspired varieties, we're going to do something a little unconventional. You're more likely to see comparisons based on single servings, and that's typically a great benchmark because not all packages are the same size, so it's often misleading to compare full bags. It's true that Baked Buffalo Chicken Sandwich comes in a slightly smaller size (extremely slightly), but Lay's believes this bag is a single serving, while the other two bags are 2.5 servings. How can this be, when they are almost identical in size? Serving sizes aren't just determined by volume, but also by how much a person is likely to eat. Perhaps Lay's has determined that the lower fat and less greasy baked variety will be easier to eat in one sitting than its heavier counterparts. Whatever the reason, we'll need to compare bag to bag.

As noted, baked chips contain less total fat than fried chips, and that's particularly noticeable here. A bag of Baked Buffalo Chicken Sandwich represents 8% of the recommended daily allowance while the others contain a whopping 32% and 33%. Lay's Baked Buffalo Chicken Sandwich is also considerably lower in sodium and 1% lower in carbs. Wavy Cuban Sandwich is the only variety without enough added sugars to make the nutrition label, though, and they're all equal or lower in calories, sodium, and carbs than Lay's Classic potato chips. If you're down for chips in general, there's little nutritional reason to steer away from these flavored varieties.

How are they?

You'll recall we compared the BLT variety to a less sweet barbecue chip, and we stand by that. Absent from the flavor profile is any semblance of bacon, the most important ingredient in a BLT sandwich. If you pop this chip in your mouth and chew with your mouth closed like a decent human, you won't detect the slightest hint of bacon. If you put one in your mouth and take a nice breath in before closing your mouth, as you would when properly tasting wine, you will catch the faintest effect of bacon. For a millisecond. And no one eats chips this way, so just consider these barbecue lite — not even the tomato flavor really comes through to distinguish them.

Wavy Cuban Sandwich chips taste somewhat more like their namesake. There's a noticeable cheese component and an overall depth of flavor that you'd want from a heavy, meaty Cuban sandwich. What's lacking is the nuttiness of the Swiss, and that could be because of the curious addition of cheddar to this recipe. What's also lacking is a distinctive meat flavor. There's a nice depth, but nothing about it that says pork. It's the pickle that's most detectable here, and it tastes eerily identical to the distinctive pickles of McDonald's.

The heat, cheese, chicken, and pickle of Baked Buffalo Chicken Sandwich all come through, making this the best true-to-life match of the three new flavors. You'll even get a hint of the bread in this one. We'll caution the pickle-shy that dill is the prominent flavor of most chips in this bag when they first hit the mouth, but heat is the predominant and lasting quality.