Potato chips are one of the US’s favorite foods. In fact, according to data collected in 2020, more than 284 million Americans enjoy bags of crispy, salty snacks every year. And without a doubt, Kettle Brand is one of the country’s favorite potato chip companies. Every year, more than 48 million Americans crunch down on the Oregon brand’s products, which come in a variety of unique flavors (including Dill Pickle and Korean BBQ). But kettle chips haven’t just captured the US market. They are also a big hit in the UK, too. Last year, British sales of kettle chips hit £100 million for the first time.

But which of its popular flavors are vegan? And while kettle chips have a reputation for being healthier than their competitors, are they actually good for you? Let’s dive in.

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Are kettle chips actually healthy?

Kettle chips, as we know them now, started back in 1982, after founder Cameron Healy traveled to Hawaii and saw potato chips being fried in a bucket and then eaten fresh. He was inspired to create his own version of the snack and began selling the first iterations of kettle chips from the back of his van.

In the US, where Kettle Brand is owned by Campbell Soup, kettle chips became a hit in the natural foods market. People wanted snacks with fewer additives, and Healy’s chips, which were made with thicker cuts of potato and more natural ingredients, presented a more appealing alternative. 

Kettle chips are also cooked in a slightly different way to regular potato chips. They are batch-cooked in vegetable oil in small quantities, as opposed to being mass-produced through continuous fryers. 

But the truth is, while the taste is slightly different and kettle chips tend to be made with fewer artificial ingredients, there isn’t a significant nutritional difference between them, and neither can be considered a healthy food. Both can be equally as high in sodium and fat, for example, and should be enjoyed in moderation.

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Are any kettle chips vegan?

The Kettle Brand is not a vegan company. Popular flavors like New York Cheddar, for example, contain milk, and others contain honey or meat flavorings. That said, there are multiple vegan options in its offering.

In the UK, where the brand is known as Kettle Foods and is owned by Valeo Foods, flavors even include Vegan Sheese & Red Onion Kettle Chips. The potato chips (or crisps as they are known in the UK) were launched at the end of 2019, just in time for Veganuary 2020.

“More and more people across the UK are adopting a vegan diet—between 2014 and 2018 the number of vegans in Great Britain quadrupled—and at Kettle we are always looking for ways to bring our flavor combinations to everyone, regardless of their dietary requirements,” the brand’s innovation chef, Phil Hovey, said in a statement at the time.

The Vegan Sheese & Red Onion flavor isn’t available in the US, but there are still plenty of animal-free kettle chips to choose from. Find out more about some of the brand’s tasty vegan flavors below. 

7 tasty vegan Kettle Brand flavors to try next

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1 Sea Salt

Crafted from just potatoes, oil, and sea salt, these are Kettle Brand’s simplest flavor. But they still boast a great taste and a satisfying crunch and are particularly delicious when paired with a creamy vegan dip.
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2 Sea Salt and Vinegar

For those who like a bit of tang with their crunch, this classic flavor masterfully blends sea salt with vinegar for a sharp, acidic, and deliciously addictive potato chip. Pair with your favorite lunchtime sandwich for a satisfying combination of soft and crunchy.
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3 Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper

Those who believe that potato chips are vastly improved with ridges need to check out Kettle Brand’s Krinkle Cut Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper Potato Chips. Thanks to the deep ridges, this flavor “holds up to extreme seasoning,” notes Campbell’s.
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4 Backyard Barbeque

Saucy, thick-cut, and delicious, Kettle Brand’s Backyard Barbeque Potato Chips are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser (so maybe don’t open them if you’re not willing to share).
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5 Jalapeño

Kettle Brand’s zingy, spicy Jalapeño potato chips are available in two varieties: standard and Air Fried. Last year, the company became the first in the market to launch air-fried chips, which, according to the brand, have 30 percent less fat than the original version!
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6 Dill Pickle

Another popular Krinkle Cut flavor, these tasty chips have the “perfect balance of tang, garlic, onion, and dill,” according to Kettle Brand.
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7 Habanero Lime

These addictive Krinkle Cut chips are a delicious fusion of habanero heat and zesty lime. We recommend enjoying them with this cooling, creamy chickpea hummus dip.
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And that’s not all. Other vegan Kettle Brand flavors include Sriracha and Truffle & Sea Salt. Plus, if you’re looking for more vegan kettle-fried chips, many brands aside from Kettle also offer their own versions. Check out companies like Miss Vickies, Lay’s, and Hal’s New York for more delicious, vegan-friendly kettle chip flavors. 

For more on vegan snacks, read:

Here at VegNews, we live and breathe the vegan lifestyle, and only recommend products we feel make our lives amazing. Occasionally, articles may include shopping links where we might earn a small commission. In no way does this effect the editorial integrity of VegNews.

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