These days, pickles are way more than a salty side snack. They’ve truly taken center stage in pickle-flavored slushies, on pizza and even as centerpieces in this romantic bouquet.
And while plenty of companies have created pickle-flavored potato chips, an actual crispy, crunchy pickle chip (made from cucumbers) has proven elusive … until now.
Today, with so many people watching their carb intake, Vlasic is planning to debut a brand new snack that will take the crunch factor of traditional pickles to a new level with pickle chips.
“Pickles has [sic] always been a flavor that people have loved in snacks, whether it’s potato chips or even in our Bigs Vlasic dill sunflower seeds,” Thomas M. McGough, co-chief operating officer and executive vice president of Conagra Brands, said in a statement. “Pickles themselves are a great snack, essentially no calories or carbs … but eating pickles out of a conventional jar is inconvenient and messy …”
A brand representative for Conagra Foods told TODAY Food via email that the new snack is currently in the early stages of development and the company has yet to set a release date.
So will pickle chips actually be a better-for-you stand-in than pickled potato chips? “With all of the buzz about how pickled food can help your micro biome and gut, we’re seeing lots of foods out there that are pickled,” Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of “Read It Before You Eat It – Taking You from Label to Table” told TODAY. “But pickle chips are not the same as kimchi, sauerkraut [or] pickles from a barrel.” In other words, crispy pickle chips likely won’t contain the same probiotic benefits found in most fermented foods.
However, pickles contain very few carbs, so they make a great snack for those looking to cut back on starchy snacks, despite their high salt content. “Carbs have always been, and will probably continue to be, the nutrient [that] we love to eat,” said Taub-Dix. “Salt is like a hug to our tastebuds. But salt also acts like a magnet to water, so if you eat foods high in sodium, you may find yourself feeling a little bloated and retaining fluid.”
Though Vlasic has yet to release specific nutritional info on the chips, they will be made from thinly sliced pickles that have been vacuum fried (similar to the way some banana chips are made), and flavored with a mix of salt and vinegar seasoning. “Lay’s dill-flavored pickle chips contain 15 grams of carbs per serving – the same as a serving of bread,” said Taub-Dix. A serving of classic Vlasic pickles contains just 1 gram of carbs with 390 milligrams of sodium.
But, like any tasty snack, it probably won’t be a good idea to overindulge. “My concern about these chips, though, is that because they are lighter than pickles, people will eat more and therefore take in a lot more sodium, without feeling as satisfied as eating a pickle.”