The real debate: Takis or Trader Joe’s Takis

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By Addison Stanton

Hot Competitors// In the epic showdown of chip vs chip, our competitors are the original taki and the Trader Joe’s Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips. Who will take the crown? (Photo courtesy of Aubree Gearhart (left) and Natalie Tartadian)

When it comes to snack food, people do not play. The debate of the real Takis versus Trader Joe’s off-brand, “Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips Chili and Lime” has been going on for some time now. This debate has been going on for an incredible amount of time,  and frankly has been the reason friendships have been ruined over this. Wars have practically been started over this controversial topic.

People can have the most indecisive personalities and yet they turn into lawyers with a master’s degree when it comes to why Takis are more authentic. The advertising and dramatized flavor might be the tie-breaker, but in reality, both chips are essentially the same. However, Takis are literally on every single channel as a cringe-worthy commercial. At this point, Trader Joe’s might have just stolen the same ingredients but put it in simple packaging and called it a day (it would fit their aesthetic).  Regardless of the stubborn arguments, the off-brand Trader Joe’s Takis seemed to sweep the original Takis off their feet and cause a feud that dares to ask which brand “did it better.”

Each brand claims to be spicy with an authentic flavor that’ll leave people wanting more, but who can truly be the judge of that? Each chip team will continue to side with their own until they are proven wrong.  Each side has pros and cons, which makes it difficult to truly pick who is the winner. Nevertheless, while one can say one’s taste is better than the other, all of these statements have some sort of bias to it. Not to mention, the Trader Joe’s Takis are only sold at Trader Joe’s while the original Takis are sold pretty much everywhere else. Takis get points for constant availability. However, the Trader Joe’s grocery chain has been popping up in more locations more frequently nowadays.

The healthy Trader Joe’s grocery chain is usually perceived to be good for you but, as for all places, Trader Joe’s has a few unhealthy snacks, and their red hot chippy rolls are one of them. Believe it or not, so are the original Taki’s. The Trader Joe’s Taki’s have more calories than the regular Taki’s but they have less saturated fat, sodium, and sugar, which overall deems them the healthier spicy snack. The original brand has a whopping 390 milligrams of sodium packed into each serving while the Trader Joe’s brand has only 260 milligrams. Neither brand is considered high in sodium, but the original brand is 10 milligrams shy of hitting the bar of eating heart disease in a bag. According to the nutrition label, the Trader Joe’s Takis are proven healthier and indisputably takes the win. 

Packaging is the thing everyone needs right so their eyes don’t explode from the aesthetic package. Everyone loves a good argument about the facts on the food label, but the real debate here is the packaging. People really can’t go wrong with the original Takis bag that’s been around for years. Maybe the new aesthetic of “keeping things simple” is too mainstream for people to even consider buying the Takis bag again. When it comes to the design of the bag, each goes hand in hand. Of course, the Trader Joe’s bag has to fulfill their aesthetic and keep their simple packaging, fooling the public’s eye. It has a bowl of the snack and a few to the side of it with the name of the chip in cursive. On the other hand, the original brand is just a purple bag with a few flames and a Taki on front. Nobody wants a boring bag; it just won’t pop as much on the shelf while the Trader Joe’s ones will. The aesthetics of a pantry shelf cannot be diminished or ignored.

As both brands might have dust that sticks to your fingers, the Trader Joe’s brand is the better of the two chips. They hit every point of good snack there is and they are easy to enjoy. Unless you want to overdose on salt, the Trader Joe’s chip should take first place in this Taki vs. Faux-Taki showdown.