The Truth About Sun Chips

Though it’s been a while since I’ve visited one, there was a time when I was a frequent Subway customer. If you work or live near a Subway, it’s pretty hard to resist its siren song of quick and cheap sandwiches. Of course, they offer more than just sandwiches at Subway, and there’s always the temptation to get a bag of chips with your Spicy Italian. For me, the choice was simple: Sun Chips. 

Sun Chips offer a slightly different taste and texture than other chips, but how much do we really know about them? Let’s explore everything there is to know about this solar-themed snack.

Who makes Sun Chips?

Like the Doritos and Lay’s that accompany them at the Subway counter, Sun Chips are made by the folks at Frito-Lay.

What are Sun Chips made of?

Let’s take a peek at the ingredients list for a bag of original Sun Chips, shall we? It contains: whole corn, sunflower and/or canola oil, whole wheat, brown rice flour, whole oat flour, sugar, salt, natural flavor, and maltodextrin (made from corn).

When did Sun Chips come out?

Sun Chips were synonymous with the ‘90s, first arriving on shelves in 1991. 

Are Sun Chips baked?

While baked snacks have become popular in recent years due to their lower oil content, Sun Chips is not a part of this trend. 

Are Sun Chips fried?

This may be a little surprising given their healthy reputation, but Sun Chips are in fact fried. The frying process gives them their distinctive crunch. 

best sun chips flavors

All the Sun Chips Flavors, Ranked

What’s the best Sun Chip flavor? We tasted all the Sun Chips and ranked them from worst to best.

How are Sun Chips made? 

Despite the abundance of health-forward messaging on their packaging, Sun Chips are mostly made the same way as other chips, except using whole grains. Here’s a cool YouTube video showing some of the process. The chips are extruded, fried into their signature wave shape, blasted with added flavoring, bagged, and sent out for your enjoyment. 

Are Sun Chips gluten free?

Sun Chips are made with whole grains, as they proudly proclaim on the packaging, so unfortunately, if you’re on a gluten-free diet, you’ll want to steer clear. Sun Chips are not gluten free. 

Are Sun Chips vegetarian?

While this would usually be a fairly straightforward question, Sun Chips has had a bit of a meat-based controversy on its hands. You see, some Sun Chip flavorings have contained pork enzymes in the past. It seems that these days, original Sun Chips do not contain pork enzymes and can generally be considered vegetarian, though this is hard to confirm. If you want to avoid any trace of pork products whatsoever, because of dietary or religious reasons, you may be safer skipping Sun Chips.

Are Sun Chips vegan?

With the caveats noted above still applying, original Sun Chips are indeed vegan. Other flavors, such as Harvest Cheddar, and even some that you wouldn’t expect, do contain some dairy products in the flavoring. Be sure to double check the label before snacking! 

Now that we’ve shined a light on everything Sun Chips-related, what’s your favorite flavor? 

About the Author

Matt Crowley

Matt Crowley is a comedy writer living in Los Angeles. He likes maple-flavored snacks, loves every kind of cheese, and is slowly learning to accept mushrooms.

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