Porque no pequeno?
August 24, 2006 5:59 PM   Subscribe

Why do you never see snack sized bags of tortilla chips?

Doritos and other powdered cheese covered corn chips come in snack size bags, but you never see what I think are referred to in the snack biz as "restaurant style" (corn tortilla chips without cheese coating) chips in snack bags. Why?
posted by Frank Grimes to Food & Drink (22 answers total)
Maybe because they're usually served with salsa for flavor as opposed to having the flavor coated on them. So you're not going to buy them from the vending machine because you have no salsa to go with them. And you're not going to pack them in your lunch because then you'd have to pack salsa.

That said, we have individual bags in the vending machine at work.
posted by Airhen at 6:07 PM on August 24, 2006

You do see tortilla chips in snack size, but they are usually flavored like nacho cheese or cool ranch doritos etc...

I for one love tortilla chips but whenever I eat them plain my wife freaks out and asks why Im not eating them with salsa.
The only time I have seen snack size plain tortilla chips is when it comes prepackaged with salsa. Most likely the market for snack size plain bags isnt there because people usually by them in larger sizes to have with dips or salsa.
posted by skrike at 6:08 PM on August 24, 2006

Fritos fill this role.
posted by smackfu at 6:08 PM on August 24, 2006

I'd have to agree with Airhen.... I like tortilla chips but I've gotta have salsa or guacamole. Thus I wouldn't get restaurant style out of a vending machine.
posted by hodyoaten at 6:27 PM on August 24, 2006

Fritos are saltier and greasier than the restraunt style chips. I am happy to sit with a big bag of good tortilla chips (no shame), but I am also curious as to why there are no snack bags.

The salsa explaination makes some sense, but there are any number of plain potato chips in snack bags even though many/most people like some kind of dip with them... Then again I don't like most potato chips or dips, so maybe the comparison between tortilla chips and salsa isn't that appropriate.
posted by jaysus chris at 6:35 PM on August 24, 2006

I have seen (and eaten) snack size bags of tortilla chips on Jetblue flights. Other than that, I haven't seen them in stores.
posted by bedhead at 6:59 PM on August 24, 2006

Stores in Winnipeg tend to have small snack bags like this.
posted by utsutsu at 7:06 PM on August 24, 2006

I hit post too soon.

I should also mention that I have seen Tostitos like this that were only salted, no other flavour.
posted by utsutsu at 7:07 PM on August 24, 2006

I promise I'll take a time-out after this one.

Here's some plain ones in a 2 oz bag. The illustration shows they are clearly intended as salsa delivery devices.
posted by utsutsu at 7:10 PM on August 24, 2006

They also make Toasted Corn flavor Doritos, which I imagine are pretty similar to plain corn chips.
posted by smackfu at 7:18 PM on August 24, 2006

Fritos are not the same thing as corn tortilla chips. They are muy greasy. I prefer corn tortilla chips to potato chips because I like the taste and certain brands (Snyder's) have less fat. I wonder if the size of the "autentico" chip (1/4 of a tortilla) precludes them from being bagged. This is a stupid question, but one that plagues me every time I shop for groceries.

Utsutsu, it seems that NAFTA has relegated snack sized pack north of the border. Que lastima!
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:47 PM on August 24, 2006

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that Fritos were the same. Just that they fill the snack food world role of "plain corn chip". They are super greasy -- you can set them on fire! -- but that's probably why they work better as a standalone food than plain corn chips.
posted by smackfu at 7:58 PM on August 24, 2006

I've seen snack-size bags of plain (well, salted) tortilla chips in vending machines here in L.A.
posted by scody at 8:11 PM on August 24, 2006

Tortilla Chips are commonly thought of as vehicles for a myriad of dips, not as salty perfection themselves.
posted by cowbellemoo at 9:09 PM on August 24, 2006

I'm not sure I've met the person who could possibly be satisfied by only a small, snack size bag of the "good" tortilla chips.
posted by tew at 9:28 PM on August 24, 2006

7-Eleven here in Ottawa sells snack size bags of tortilla chips on the same shelf as snack-size containers of salsa or nacho cheese.
posted by mendel at 9:35 PM on August 24, 2006

I was going to ask this SAME question. I've noticed that here in the Midwest US, the same thing that Frank has noticed. You cannot find plain Tortilla Chips ANYWHERE.

I too thought that there was some sort of evil plot by Frito Lay.
posted by gregschoen at 12:56 AM on August 25, 2006

In the UK I think they are predominantly eaten dip-less and exist only as major brand items.
posted by A189Nut at 1:34 AM on August 25, 2006

I've wondered the same. Perhaps we need a Tortilla Marketing Board Campaign to show Americans that not merely being salsa delivery devices, they are in fact a lovely replacement for a spoon or fork in oh-so-many situations, especially lunch. They're tasty, they get the food to your mouth, and they're salty. Instead of having to carry utensils -- which must be washed (a drag) or thrown out (worse), as well as seasonings (nothing more annoying than a lunch that would be tasty if only because it just needed an eensy bit of salt!) -- VIVA LA TORTILLA! We could shape them a bit more and re-name them. Death to sporks -- bring on the SalForkTilloona. Err, or something like that.
posted by mimi at 6:34 AM on August 25, 2006

When I was a gas station cashier (too soon ago for my comfort) I used to sell the exact same products mendel talks of. And I've seen them in almost all mini-marts. Sometimes they're hard to find, tucked away somewhere, as in my experience they weren't a big seller (Regular, BBQ, and doritos chips were).
posted by shepd at 6:46 AM on August 25, 2006

mimi, I'd sign up.

I wonder if the size of the "autentico" chip (1/4 of a tortilla) precludes them from being bagged.

This was my immediate thought. There would be significant breakage issues, I would think -- far more than a smaller, sturdier potato chip or seemingly indestructible Frito. Even Doritos are smaller than a triangular tortilla chip.

Your Tostitos scoops do have a smaller diameter, but then are deeper and also would be at risk.
posted by pineapple at 6:57 AM on August 25, 2006

you can set them on fire!

Reeheeheeally? Well I know what I'm doing this weekend.
posted by rorycberger at 10:04 AM on August 25, 2006

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