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.

Crisp World Cup

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.

Qualification

All qualifying crisps

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.

The draw

First round draw
The live draw takes place in early September and serves us up some mouth-watering first matches
Paddy Power odds
After a kind draw, Paddy Power tip Nice N Spicy Nik Naks as slight favourites

Round of 32

Quavers win

Texas BBQ Pringles
vs
Quavers

The first match sees two stand-out competitors go head-to-head, with Quavers coming out on top.
Salt & Vinegar win

BBQ Beef Hula Hoops
vs
Walkers Salt & Vinegar

Two classics face-off, with Walkers Salt & Vinegar taking the W.
Smith's Scampi Fries win

Roast Beef Monster Munch
vs
Smith’s Scampi Fries

After trekking around Bournemouth for an hour trying to find some Smith’s Scampi Fries I’m secretly hoping they lose. They don’t.
Kettle Chips win

Salt & Vinegar Twirls
vs
Kettle Chips Sweet Chilli & Sour Cream

The game that goes down in history for the ultimate betrayal. Gill promises her office besty, Sue, that she’d vote for her Salt & Vinegar twists. Little does Sue know that Gill actually gives her vote to her Kettle Chips competitor. I expose Gill’s backstabbing and Sue and Gill never speak again. Drama.
Worcester Sauce wins

Worcester Sauce French Fries
vs
Walkers Prawn Cocktail

Another interesting match-up, with Worcester Sauce taking the win by a single vote.
Sweet Chilli win

Tortilla Nacho Cheese Pringles
vs
Thai Sweet Chilli Sensations

Nacho Cheese Pringles are huge underdogs going into the match. They give it a good go but Thai Sweet Chilli are just too strong.
Twists win

Roast Chicken Sensations
vs
M&S Salt & Vinegar Twists

Another incredibly tight match which sees M&S Twists become the second salt & vinegar crisp to make it into the last 16.
Ready Salted win

Guinness Thick Cut Crisps
vs
Walkers Ready Salted


The quirky Burts Guinness chips lose out to the stalwart (some would say boring) Walkers Ready Salted.
Discos win

Cheese Twisties
vs
Salt & Vinegar Discos


This game originally got postponed as Cheese Twisties made their way over from Australia. Everyone is excited to see what they have to offer down-under. They flop. Badly. The most disliked crisp in the whole competition.
Monster Munch win

Pickled Onion Monster Munch
vs
Jacob’s Salt & Vinegar Crinklys


Recently voted Britain’s favourite crisp on a Heart radio poll, Pickled Onion Monster Munch look strong favourites to take this match. Although Jacob’s Salt & Vinegar Crinklys give a good account of themselves.
Curry Sauce win

McCoys Chip Shop Curry Sauce
vs
Walkers Max Paprika


Two very strong crisps go head-to-head, with McCoys Chip Shop Curry Sauce coming out on top.
Beef & Mustard win

Brannigans Beef & Mustard
vs
Plantain Chips


After the controversy they caused at the beginning, plantain chips are a bit of a disaster – losing out to some pretty average Brannigans Beef & Mustard crisps.
Co Op win

Co-Op Sea Salt & Chardonnay Vinegar
vs
Sainsburys Roast Turkey & Stuffing


The Eton prawn sandwich brigade are absolutely buzzing as Co Op Sea Salt & Chardonnay Vinegar made it through to the next round.
Chilli Heatwave win

Doritos Chilli Heatwave
vs
Skips


My choice – Doritos Chilli Heatwave – overcome a tricky match against Skips.

Balsamic Vinegar win

Balsamic Vinegar Sensations
vs
Waitrose Sea Salt & Vinegar


Is this round still not finished? Balsamic Vinegar Sensations send Waitrose Sea Salt & Vinegar back to their 4-bedroom house in Surrey.
Nik Naks win

M&S Prawn Cocktail Shells
vs
Nice N Spicy Nik Naks


The round comes to a close as favourites Nice N Spicy Nik Naks win comfortably over M&S Prawn Cocktail Shells (posh Skips)

Last 16

Quavers win

Quavers
vs
Walkers Salt & Vinegar


Two timeless UK snacks make up the first tie and it’s Quavers that take victory by the narrowest of margins.
Scampi Fries win

Smith’s Scampi Fries
vs
Kettle Chips Sweet Chilli & Sour Cream


Another victory for Smith’s Scampi Fries. Despite the fact they can only be found in outer Mongolia, they actually taste quite nice.
Sensations win

Worcester Sauce French Fries
vs
Thai Sweet Chilli Sensations


Another close win for Thai Sweet Chilli Sensations who are struggling to make an impression on this tournament so far. Are they suffering from the fact that they only made it through as a wildcard?
Twists win

M&S Salt & Vinegar Twists
vs
Walkers Ready Salted

Two basic can’t-go-wrong crisps. The twists win this battle.
Monster Munch win

Salt & Vinegar Discos
vs
Pickled Onion Monster Munch


This promises to be one of the games of the tournament between two crisps that are loved across the nation. Pickled Onion Monster Munch are victorious and move into the quarter-finals.
Curry Sauce win

McCoys Chip Shop Curry Sauce
vs
Brannigans Beef & Mustard


With G&Ts discontinuing their Brannigans range and Amazon wanting a ludicrous £15 for 5 packets, McCoys Chip Shop Curry Sauce are the only crisps present on the table for this game. And it shows as they win by the biggest margin in the tournament.
Chilli Heatwave win

Co-Op Sea Salt & Chardonnay Vinegar
vs
Doritos Chilli Heatwave


A massive triumph for my Doritos Chilli Heatwave. Sebastien and Montgomery are in bits.
Nik Naks win

Balsamic Vinegar Sensations
vs
Nice N Spicy Nik Naks


Nice N Spicy Nik Naks brings the round to a close with a victory of Balsamic Vinegar Sensations. We’re getting into the nitty-gritty now.

Quarter Finals

Scampi Fries win

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?

Sweet Chilli win

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.

Curry Sauce win

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)

Doritos win

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.

Semi Finals

Semi Final kits

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?

Semi final kits

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.

The Final

The grand final

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…

Thai Sweet Chilli win

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!