It’s safe to say the UK is a nation of crisp lovers, with a staggering 84% of Brits regularly tucking in.* But which brand of premium salted crisps should you pick up en route to a picnic, when entertaining after lockdown, or just as a treat for yourself?
We tested premium lightly salted crisps from Kettle, Pipers and Tyrells alongside nine own-brand supermarket alternatives from Aldi, Lidl, Sainsbury's, Tesco and more, to find out which ones had the best taste, texture and flavour, and which you should leave on the shelf.
Three were tasty enough to be named Best Buys, and some cheap supermarket crisps outclassed the big brands.
Find out which crisps we recommend, based on blind taste tests conducted with our crisp-loving consumer panel in April 2021.
Only logged-in Which? members can view the rest of our results and tasting notes below. If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the crisps on test.
All prices correct as of May 2021.
75p (50p per 100g)
Aldi’s budget-friendly crisps are the cheapest on test, but does their taste make them good value for money?
80p (53p per 100g)
Are Asda’s ‘extra special’ salted crisps the perfect addition to your movie night? Read our review to find out whether they impressed our tasters.
£1.70 (£1.13 per 100g)
Co-op labels its sea salted crisps as 'irresistible', but do our tasters agree?
Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Co-op.
£1.99 (£1.33 per 100g)
Big brand Kettle has been making crisps for more than 30 years. Could its lightly salted potato snacks be the perfect accompaniment to your evening tipple?
85p (57p per 100g)
As the second-cheapest crisps on test, they’re definitely ‘Lidl on price’ – but are they big on flavour?
£1.50 (£1 per 100g)
These aren’t just any crisps, they’re M&S lightly sea salted crisps. Read our review to find out if that’s actually a good thing.
£1 (67p per 100g)
Are Morrisons lightly salted crisps really ‘the best’ as claimed on the packet? Our tasters reveal all.
£2.50 (£1.67 per 100g)
At more than triple the price of the cheapest bags we tested, are Pipers' expensive crisps worth paying more for?
£1 (67p per 100g)
Our panel have rated the flavour, texture, aroma, and appearance of Sainsbury's sea salt crisps. Find out whether they deserve a spot on your party spread.
£1 (67p per 100g)
Does the UK’s biggest supermarket chain deliver when it comes to its own-brand crisps? We’ve put them to the test.
£2 (£1.33 per 100g)
Thick, flavoursome and with the perfect crunch, or bland, pale and a little bit stale? No one wants the latter when it comes to crisps.
£1.50 (£1 per 100g)
These crisps are one of the most expensive supermarket own-label crisps we tested per 100g, so should Waitrose shoppers favour these crisps over the big brands?
All prices are correct as of May 2021, and all bags are 150g.
Despite being salt flavoured, thankfully there isn't a staggering amount of salt in any of the crisps we tested, nor is there much difference in the salt content between the different packs.
Which? nutritionist Shefalee Loth says: 'Adults should consume no more than 6g of salt a day, however, we currently eat around 8.1g. Most of this intake, around 80%, is already in foods we eat - for example, bread, breakfast cereals and sauces such as ketchup.
'You might expect salted crisps to be high in salt, but based on recommended dietary allowance (RDA) guidelines they're classed as "medium". A small bag of crisps contains around a third of a gram, and 100g of crisps contain around 1g of salt. That's the same amount found in 100g of bread and less than 100g of cornflakes.'*
Some crisps are just destined to be dipped. And a lightly flavoured crisp such as these premium packs is the perfect vehicle for dunking. But which dip to choose?
Chef James Adams explains how to get the best from some of the most popular dips:
Hummus is super-easy to make if you have a good food processor, but you really do need to use high-quality ingredients. All of which can end up costing you a fair bit. If you don't fancy the fuss, opt for a good-quality supermarket hummus, which can be just as tasty.
However, if you’d still prefer to make your own or you just want the option of choosing your own ingredients, our chef recommends buying dried chickpeas instead of canned.
Making your own guacamole is preferable to shop-bought avocado dips. It’s nearly impossible to keep an avocado from going bad once mashed. To prevent this, supermarkets often use preservatives that turn the avocado slightly off without affecting the colour, but it tends to leave a disappointing taste.
If you’re buying your salsa from the shop, it’s worth spending a little more on the slow-cooked, whole food options. And for those of you who like your salsa with a kick, Chef James recommends a ‘Valentina’ – which is a cross between a salsa and a hot sauce.
However, homemade salsa is simple to make and Chef James advises that homemade typically tastes much better than shop-bought alternatives.
Crisp packets can’t go in your household recycling bin, but you can recycle them via by dropping them off at your nearest collection point. The scheme has been set up in partnership with Walkers but accepts any brand of crisp packets, including outer packaging from crisp multipacks.
The products were assessed by a large panel of consumers who regularly buy and eat salted crisps.
The make-up of the panel broadly represents the demographic profile of adults in the UK.
Each packet of crisps was assessed by 64 people.
The panellists rated the taste, texture, aroma and appearance of each product and told us what they liked and disliked about each one.
The taste test was blind, so the panellists didn’t know which brand they were trying. The order they sampled the crisps was fully rotated to avoid any bias.
Each panellist had a private booth so they couldn’t discuss what they were tasting or be influenced by others.
The overall score is based on:
These weightings are based on consumer rankings of the importance of different crisp attributes.
Sources (in order of appearance):
*Kantar Media Global (13, 12, 12), Kantar (52 w/e 16 Jun 19), Food Standards Agency, salt figures based on Kingsmill Tasty wholemeal medium sliced bread and Kellogg's Cornflakes