What is the meaning of existence?
Are humans capable of things beyond their consciousness?
Will we ever see a person successfully travel through time?
Did Bush do 9/11? If jet fuel doesn’t melt steel beams then how did the second tower fall?
These are all questions that have puzzled man for decades but none are quite as poignant or thought-provoking as this:
What is the undisputed ‘best’ potato-based snack in the world today?
So, whilst Brian Cox was busy with other projects, it fell to me – a 20-year-old placement student – to answer one of life’s great mysteries.
But how would we answer such a complex and provocative issue I hear you ask?
The answer: a 32-team major tournament that would end all doubt once and for all.
And so, the BBD Crisp World Cup™ was born.
How it works
We asked every member of the BBD office to nominate their favourite crisp brand and flavour.
Then over the course of the next 14 weeks, the crisps went head to head in a knock-out tournament. Every Wednesday and Friday, two crisps would be matched up and the BBD office would all vote on their favourite crisp.
The qualification stage sees a few shocks as some big-name crisps fail to make it into the tournament.
Heavyweights such as Sour Cream & Onion Pringles, Walkers Cheese & Onion and Wotsits miss the cut, with some relative minnows such as Jacobs Salt & Vinegar Crinklys and Brannigans Beef & Mustard making the final 32.
There is some controversy as Plantain Chips are accepted into the competition despite not being a potato-based crisp. After outrage throughout the office, the World Crisp Association (WCA) is forced to release a statement saying: “We are an inclusive competition who are accepting of all crisps, whatever shape or size… plantain chips deserve to be there like every other competitor”.
One of the favourites for the tournament, Thai Sweet Chilli Sensations only scrape through qualification as a wildcard.
Round of 32
Quavers vs Smith’s Scampi Fries
Smith’s Scampi Fries continue their incredible underdog story as they make it past a strong Quavers and into the final four. Leicester 2016. Greece 2004. Smith’s Scampi Fries 2019?
Thai Sweet Chill Sensations vs M&S Salt & Vinegar Twists
As the last remaining salt & vinegar flavour, M&S Twists are hoping they can cause an upset. It’s not to be, however, as Thai Sweet Chill Sensations take a comfortable victory.
Pickled Onion Monster Munch vs McCoys Chip Shop Curry Sauce
The young pup teaches the old dog some new tricks as McCoys Chip Shop Curry Sauce (first on shelves in 2017) see off Pickled Onion Monster Munch (1978)
Chilli Heatwave Doritos vs Nice N Spicy Nik Naks
The favourites are dumped out of the tournament at the hands of Doritos Chilli Heatwave. People are starting to raise suspicious eyebrows as my crisps make it through another round.
Just to confirm, I didn’t cheat once throughout this tournament. Although if Qatar fancy hosting the next one, half a million in an offshore account and it’s yours.
Smith’s Scampi Fries vs Thai Sweet Chilli Sensations
This clash really is David vs Goliath. In the one corner, we have the Smith’s Scampi Fries – an old-school unorthodox that I’d never heard of prior to the tournament. In the other corner lies a modern heavyweight in Thai Sweet Chilli Sensations.
Thai Sweet Chilli Sensations were clear favourites for this match and were comfortably leading going into lunch (8 votes to 4). But Smith’s Scampi Fries refused to be beaten and like a phoenix rising from the ashes, they pulled the score back to 8-8 and we were taken to our first penalty-shootout of the tournament…
You could hear a pin drop in the office as Rob steps up first… he places his hand in the bag… and pulls a red ticket out! 1-0 to Thai Sweet Chili.
Next up is Olly, hoping to pull out his own Scampi Fries… IT’S RED! Olly Gear scores an OG! 2-0 Thai Sweet Chilli.
Alfie’s the next to take… a red ticket here and Thai Sweet Chilli are the first finalists… it’s green! Scampi Fries live to fight another day.
Isabelle’s up next… AND SHE PULLS A GREEN! What a comeback! Scampi Fries just won’t lie down.
The 5th and final penalty will be taken by Karl… you could cut the tension with a knife… Karl takes a deep breath… steps up… IT’S RED! THAI SWEET CHILLI ARE IN THE FINAL!
Heartbreak for Smith’s Scampi Fries who showed a valiant effort throughout the tournament. The wildcard goes through to the final, but who will they face?
McCoys Chip Shop Curry Sauce vs Chilli Heatwave Doritos
Two strong competitors face each other in the second semi-final. Both have overcome big opponents to reach this point. Both are desperate to reach the illustrious BBD Crisp World Cup™ Final.
For the second time in a row, the office is split down the middle with 9 votes each. Straight to penalties.
First up is Martin… he looks composed as he steps up… he pulls out the Curry Sauce! 1-0.
Sue is the second penalty taker… and she pulls out the murky yellow of Curry Sauce! One more and they’re joining Thai Sweet Chilli Sensations in the final.
The next to step up is Josie… she looks tense as she walks up to the bag… it’s Chilli Heatwave! Doritos have clawed one back.
I’ve got the next penalty… never have I felt pressure like this before… mess this up and my crisp is going home… IT’S RED! I’ve levelled it up at 2-2.
The deciding penalty is going to be taken by Mags… my crisp world cup hangs in the balance… the office is on tenterhooks…she reaches in… AND PULLS OUT CHIP SHOP CURRY SAUCE!
My journey has come to an end. Devastation like no other.
So, after 14 weeks of triumph and turmoil, it all comes down to this.
Thai Sweet Chilli Sensations versus McCoys Chip Shop Curry Sauce.
Only one can be victorious. Only one can be crowned the best crisp in the world today. Only one will be getting their hands on the coveted BBD Crisp World Cup ™ trophy.
The match doesn’t disappoint.
The voting deadline is set for 4pm. At 2pm Thai Sweet Chilli has the lead. At 3pm Chip Shop Curry Sauce are a vote ahead. The contest ebbs and flows throughout the afternoon and there is nothing to separate the two crisps. It looks like we’re going to a third penalty shootout in a row.
Until 3:58 when the final vote comes in. The vote that means we have an outright winner of the BBD Crisp World Cup™ 2019.
And the winner is…
The wildcard takes victory! After all that, the only crisp not chosen by a BBD employee is the one that wins it.
We’ve now got an all-expenses trip to the Bahamas and £10,000 prize pot which is just going to go to waste. Shame really.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed our little tournament.
Do you agree with the winner? How far did your favourite go? Did we miss any underrated crisps?
Get in touch and let us know your thoughts!