Find your recipes and restaurants here

10 of South Africa’s favourite cheese flavoured chips, ranked from worst to best

We settle the Willards vs Simba rivalry, once and for all.

by: Katy Rose | 05 Nov 2018
We tasted and ranked 10 cheese flavoured chips

ALSO READ: We tested SA’s top cream liqueurs - and the best one is not what you think

We gathered around a group of foodies and self-proclaimed chip experts, and asked them to score each of these chips. Here are the results, ranked from worst to the very best! 

10. Willards Crinkle Cut
Look, there are no surprises here. Willards do a lot of snacks very well, but this is not one of them. Comments from our tasting panel include: “lacks cheese taste” and  “Horrendous!!! Weird aftertaste...actually, weird taste full stop” and this indignant tester: “This is cheese?”
Rating: 25/100

9. Pringles Cheesy Chips
Pringles fans are notorious for their loyalty, but when the chips are down, the flavour is the only thing that matters. Unfortunately, Pringles forgot to bring the cheese gees to this party, and the tasters told us in the comments section: “Meh”, “disgusting” and Mr Disappointed exclaiming “they forgot to add the cheese!” 

cheese chips taste test South Africa

Rating: 41/100

8. Willards Cheese Curl Balls
The packet states that these are “double cheese flavoured’, but Willards really dropped the ball with the awful, aggressive texture. Comments such as “terrible”, “too hard, hurts my mouth” and “doesn’t melt like the others”, meant that these Cheese Curl Balls came in at number 8. 
Rating: 48/100

7. Willards Cheas Naks
Despite taking deep offence over the spelling of these snacks, we thought these chips would perform well. However, the testers were not fooled leaving comments such as, “not as cheesy as Nik Naks”, “bad version of Nik Naks” and “kinda feels like a knock-off of Nik Niks”. Jeez, tell us how you really feel, why don’t you? 
Rating: 57/100

6. Simba Cheese Twirls
These cheesy crescents may fill you with warm feelings of nostalgia, but they will also fill your mouth with cheesy gunk. Overwhelmingly the response was “sticks to your palate”, “stuck in teeth” and “sticky in your mouth”. 
Rating: 58/100

We tasted and ranked 10 cheese flavoured chips

5. Simba Potato Chips Creamy Cheddar

This packet was one of the favourites going into the race, but alas, Simba couldn’t go the distance. In comparison to the rest of the lineup, most tasters found them to be “a bit disappointing” and “not as good as I thought”, One rebel even wrote, “it’s...meh”. Harsh. 
Rating 63/100

4. Willards Cheese Curls
These ones scored quite well with the tasters, with most commenting on the great, light texture and the solid cheese flavour. Cheese Curls also dug up a lot of childhood memories, with one taster exclaiming “the perfect amount of chip & cheese!” Ok, calm down. 
Rating: 72/100

3. Doritos Cheese Supreme
With an iconic triangle shape and crunchy, gitty corn texture the Doritos really stood out from the rest of the tasting panel. Tasters loved these saying, “this has a ‘mature’ taste like an adult cheese chip”, “so nice and crunchy… I just want more” and “intense flavour and good corn chip - 10 out of 10”. One taster wrote: “tastes like poison. Yasss!” which we think is a good thing…?
Rating: 73/100

2. Messaris Bubbles
This small chip from Elsie's River had big dreams of cheesy success, and triumphed over Big Chip to take the number 2 position! A dark horse contender going into the race, Bubbles proved to be a hit with the tasters, and the sample packet was the first to be finished. Comments include “Best. Good flavour”, “so many good memories from childhood - perfect!” and “perfect spongy texture”
Rating: 74/100

1. Simba Nik Naks Original Cheese
Simba is the king of cheese snacks, of that there can be no doubt. Despite a spotty past, the Nik Naks man still has a place in the hearts of South Africans and trampled the rest of the field. Scoring a whopping 8 perfect scores, tasters said “Best. Good flavour”, “Best!”. “Love it!” and “The king of cheese chips - a classic”
Rating: 89/100

The Ultimate Winner: “Nik Naks forever and ever, amen”. 

we tasted cheese chips

The rules: 
Due to the distinctive shape of the chips, each sample was clearly labelled for the tasters to distinguish them from each other. Food24 did not receive any sponsorship or advertising for this article, it was merely for the love of cheese. 

Note from the author: 
There is an interesting correlation between nutritional information and how each sample scored in the taste test. NikNaks (the winner in this test) has 778mg/ 100 g of sodium which is over double Pringles’ (number 9) sodium content (300mg/100g). Messaris Bubbles (Number 2)  had the lowest fat content (22.9g/100g) but also had the highest carbohydrate count at 62g/100.

Which cheese snack is your best ever? Let us know in the comments below. 

ALSO READ: Supermarket milk tarts: We found the best one and it’s actually cheaper than all the others

Read more on: food trends  |  food24 tastes  |  food news

NEXT ON FOOD24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.