KFC has partnered with Smith's Chips to create the "Zinger Chicken" flavour. As its name implies, the limited-edition snack takes its taste cues from KFC's spicy Zinger chicken fillets. The product doesn't hit stores until next month, but we were lucky enough to get our hands on a bag a few weeks early. Here is our verdict.
The once-alien concept of the fast food "crossover" has exploded in recent months. In the past year alone, we've seen officially licensed Doritos pizzas, Vegemite pizza sauce, Four'N Twenty Meat pie pizzas, Red Rooster Sumo Salads, Hershey's Chocolate Chip Cookie pizzas and Vegemite-flavoured chocolate; to name but a few. The latest entry in this dubious category are Smith's Zinger Chips which come with Colonel Sanders' noggin slapped on the packaging so you know it's the real deal. None of that SFC crap here.
This might seem like an odd pairing to some, but it makes perfect sense to us. After all, one of Smith's signature flavours is already chicken. Plus, the company has a pedigree for this sort of thing back in its home country of England. Over there, you can get all sorts of weird Smith's chip mash-ups, ranging from Heinz Ketchup to Bovril. In other words, the company knows a thing or two about marrying its potato chips to commercial food products.
KFC is marketing the chips as an on-the-go, snack-sized "extension" of its Zinger burger range. The chips will be available in more than 600 KFC stores around the country from September 8, as well as Coles supermarkets. So without further ado, let's take a look at how the taste.
The chips are dusted with a generous coating of reddish powder, which doesn't bode well for spice-shy snackers. Indeed, when I opened the bag one of our colleagues mentioned she could smell the spicy flavouring from across the room.
With that said, if you're a fan of KFC Zinger burgers you're down for a bit of fire, right? Despite appearances, it's actually not that spicy — especially compared to KFC's Supercharged and Chilli Charged Zinger sauce. After polishing off a 90g bag, you'll probably need a tall glass of water, but that's as much to do with the saltiness as the spiciness. It's roughly on par with your average bag of chilli-flavoured potato chips.
The flavour is reminiscent of Smith's original chicken flavour, but with some heat underneath. They also have a slightly buttery aftertaste that could be an attempt to replicate the flavour of KFC batter. It's unusual, but not unpleasant.
Overall, I quite enjoyed Smith's Zinger flavoured chips — so much so that I polished off two 90g bags in a single day. If you're specifically looking for a Zinger burger in potato chip form you'll probably be pretty disappointed (the taste profile isn't that similar). But if you just want a tasty chicken-flavoured snack with a bit of kick, it delivers.