For many, snacking is an unavoidable part of modern life, but not all snacks are made equal. PopCorners, (known simply under the brand name “Corners” in the UK) is a New York-based crisp company, has set out to encourage “healthier and happier snacking” with its range of protein-filled, soy-based ‘Pop Protein Crisps’.
Unlike many of its competitors, Corners’ products are dairy-free, gluten-free and (as the name suggests) popped instead of fried. I’ve got my hands on the Sweet Barbecue flavour, a variety which, incidentally, is also vegan-friendly. Let’s see what this discerning snacker makes of them: crunchy, savoury delight or bland and bound for the bin bag…?
It’s a bag of crisps. There’s not a whole lot to discuss in terms of fancy packaging, just a simple yet appealing dark blue bag with bright red accents. My only gripe with the packaging comes with the weak seal on the back of the bag. When picking my Corners up in-store, a couple of the products had split open on the shelf because of this shoddy seal, and—once brought home—I discovered my own bag wouldn’t have taken much convincing to split open either.
Now, make no mistake with PopCorners; these crisps are HEALTHIER alternatives to your everyday Doritos or McCoys, but they’re not outright healthy. Thanks to the main ingredients of isolated soy protein and fibre, these products pack an impressive 21.5g of protein and 8.3g of fibre per 85g bag.
For comparison, an equivalent amount of Walkers Beef and Onion crisps would contain 5.4g of protein and 3.4g of fibre—needless to say, the name ‘Pop Protein’ is well deserved. Due to their “popped, not fried” philosophy, they’re also dramatically lower in fat than their Walkers equivalent, keeping things at a sensible 7.6g per 85g bag.
However, these crisps fall in-line with their competitors in the carbohydrate department (starch is starch at the end of the day) and even out-do Walkers when it comes to salt levels (1.5g in a bag). While there are clear advantages to these snacks over most everything else on the market—they’re not devoid of nutritional value like most crisps—we wouldn’t advise against making these a regular staple of your diet.
PopCorners are a strange sight to behold. Uniformly triangular, they resemble pockmarked Doritos and are unlikely to be mistaken for much else on the snack market. Upon tasting the first crisp, however, any misgivings about their appearance quickly vanish: these things are utterly fantastic!
Crunchy, flavoursome and incredibly moreish. It’s probably a good thing they come in smaller bags than traditional crisps because of how easily “just one more” can lead to an empty package (and not-so empty belly). The flavouring is intensely barbecue-y and gives the crisps an appealing orange colour. With that said, the coverage of flavouring is inconsistent throughout the bag. Some crisps were almost overwhelming on the tongue and bright orange, while others harboured almost no flavour at all and looked unintentionally pale.
Despite uneven seasoning coverage and poorly sealed packaging, Pop Protein Crisps are still among the best crisps I’ve tasted in quite some time. Crunchier than many ‘full-fat’ brands and better-tasting too!