This article is the archived version of a report that appeared in July 2009 Consumer Reports magazine.
Our sensory panel tried 14 snack crisps and toasted chips and found seven that taste very good. The specifics:
Ritz's are large, tender, flaky, toasted crisps with a buttery flavor. Nabisco's Wheat Thins are toasted, buttery, multigrain chips. Lay's are small, flavorful, tender, crispy squares dusted with powdered cheese.
New York Style's are large crunchy triangles, very toasted, with a big pretzel flavor. Pepperidge Farm's are large, crunchy, flattened pretzels that are a little buttery and sweet.
Lundberg's and Rice Works' offer flavorful, toasted, brown-rice tortilla-style chips with a little sweetness and a sesame-like flavor.
Those that didn't make our cut include Triscuit Thin Crisps Parmesan Garlic and Bachman Pita Pretzel Squares. We also tasted pita chips, but even the best—Stacy's Simply Naked Baked and Athenos Baked Original—were dry and just OK overall.
Although crisps and toasted chips sound as though they should be more healthful than regular crackers, that isn't always so. The difference in fat, calories, and sodium between Wheat Thins multigrain crackers and the Wheat Thins chips we tested, for example, is negligible.
Nutrition ratings (available to subscribers) are based on calories per gram of food, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, sugars, iron, calcium, and dietary fiber. Cost is based on the average price we paid.