I remember when Quest first started releasing products. They only had a few flavors of protein bars. I got a free sample, and like most people, enjoyed them. I never bought a Quest bar because at the end of the day they cost over 10 cents per gram of protein. It's not ridiculous compared to other ready to consume animal based protein products, but it's still expensive.
Quest chips currently come in 5 flavors: Plain (salt), Sour Cream and Onion, Salt and Vinegar, Cheddar and Sour Cream, and BBQ. Before I review the taste, let me get to the things that are the same for every flavor.
To call these "chips" in America might not be the most technically accurate description. Most people are going to think potato or corn chips. These are closer to crackers in my opinion. They are very light and airy, not greasy in the least. and have the texture of a super light saltine cracker.
They have a good initial crunch to them and no bad aftertaste. There is a point while you're chewing that you become aware that you are not eating a typical cracker or chip. Grainy is the word I want to use but might not be the best choice. On the plain chip it's unpleasant to me, but on the flavored ones, particularly the flavors I like, this seems to disappear.
The macros on these are pretty good. They all have 120 calories and 21 grams of protein per bag. The protein is from whey. They have numerous other ingredients depending on the flavor, and it's no surprise that the flavors with the longer lists of ingredients tend to taste most like their potato based friends. They have no soy protein in them and only 5 grams of carbs. The size of the bag is comparable to any small sized one serving bag of chips.
This is subjective, of course. And I have to say that I tested them plain, like you would snack on chips. You can also add them to chili or soup, which makes them much better.
The Plain chips are unpleasant to me. It ultimately tastes like a saltine cracker but as I mentioned there is a point when you're chewing that isn't great to me. I personally would not buy this flavor again.
I was expecting the Sour Cream and Onion to be quest chips with that awesome pringles seasoning on it. I can literally lick that stuff off of pringles it's so good. Unfortunately what you get is more like Onion chips. The onion flavor is there, but not much else. They are still much better than the plain. But once again I wouldn't buy these, they are not flavored like normal sour cream and onion chips are.
BBQ has an initial nice barbecue flavor, but it fades quickly and you're still left with that mealy not so great mess in your mouth before you swallow. Once again not as bad as the plain flavor but basically on par with the sour cream and onion in terms of my taste. I wouldn't buy these again either.
Salt and Vinegar is a flavor that not everyone likes. I personally love Buffalo Wild Wings Salt and Vinegar chicken wings. These chips, however, I do not like. The vinegar gives the flavor a little staying power but there's still that mid point where it's not so pleasant. I wouldn't buy these again either.
Cheddar and Sour Cream was the first flavor I tried where I wanted more when the bag was empty. It tastes just like it's potato based brethren. These were good, and if I was going to buy more quest chips I would definitely get this flavor.
So in review, just based on enjoyment of eating them I would buy Cheddar and Sour Cream, but not any of the other flavors. If I wanted 20 grams of lean protein in a convenient form immediately I would buy a quest bar long before I forced myself to eat one of the 4 disliked flavors of chips. But like I said, the Cheddar was so good I actually wanted more when the bag was done, just like regular potato chips. i could snack on those just the same and rack up 100 grams of protein and minimal calories if I was so inclined and I liked to burn money like Quincey C. Fancypants.
The value isn't non-existent, but it's an expensive product. Just the same as a quest bar, or other protein bar, or pre-mixed shake. You're paying $2.50 for 21 grams of protein. That is 4 to 5 times the price of protein powder.
This doesn't mean they have no use, it just means that in terms of price per nutrition it's not very good. But it is a bag of chips. So if you're using it to diet it might help you feel better than a protein shake. Or it might make you want another bag. But then again it's basically just protein with a tiny bit of carbs so that's not necessarily a bad thing. If it keeps you out of the pringles can and away from the donuts then maybe that's worth it. It's not cheap though.
I personally don't have issue losing weight. I'm usually on a bulk because I suck at eating enough. As such cramming in extra protein is useful to me, but by the same token if I'm eating 4000 calories a day, getting enough protein shouldn't be a problem anyway. For that reason I just don't see myself buying these. They are too expensive and I just don't need them.
But for what it's worth the Cheddar and Sour Cream get my seal of approval, if I had one, which I don't. Everyone's taste is different though. But if you feel like you could use these chips and you're okay with the price then try them out.