STOP the One Chip Challenge!

The Lempert Report
October 04, 2022

On today’s Bullseye its time to fight back against the one chip challenge. The brand is Paqui hot chips – the one that is adorned with Carolina Reaper – the hottest chili pepper in the world that has a Scoville rating of up to 2,200,000 – that’s about 880 times hotter than the average jalapeño pepper – which has a rating of up to 8,000 just as a comparison, and Scorpion peppers which has a measly Scoville rating of just over 2 million. The promotion – which should be stopped immediately – and is being banned in some school districts – is the “one Chip Challenge”. This is just stupid and dangerous. A very different challenge than the 1967 Lay’s potato chip tagline – Betcha can’t eat just one!

Talking about one – there is only one chip per package and the package is a coffin-shaped box – and to make matters worse the chip actually turns the eater’s tongue blue. Retailers who sell the chip include 7Eleven, Kroger, Circle K, HyVee, Safeway, Walgreens to name just a few in all according to their website they are sold in 95 different chains across the US and Canada – good major retailers …. have to ask you all to stop selling this product. On Amazon the package – again which contains just one individually wrapped chip – two-tenths of an ounce – sells for $8.99. Sure the brand’s website is loaded with warnings – but what has me concerned is that it also says to eat the entire chip and to wait as long as possible before drinking or eating anything. They then want you to post your reaction to eating the chip on social media and to tag them. And to add to the challenge on their site if you only last 1 minute you are called powerless, 10 minutes powerful, 30 – supercharged and 1 hour invincible. And of course there is an illustration of the grim reaper. Come on! While they do have around 50,000 likes on Facebook – the individual videos that eaters post have few views – and lots of people posting nasty things about the taste, stomach discomfort (and pains) and many saying to stop selling these. But on TikTok they have almost 340,000 followers with some challenger video views of over 400,000. Clearly the TikTok viewers are their audience. And it’s a sad day for us all as we seem to celebrate other people’s discomfort when eating these. As I mentioned schools are banning these and some students have actually been sent to the hospital after participating in the challenge. Some students have had nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. I love great promotions, PR and advertising for foods – but this is simply promoting a chip that could be dangerous and isn’t funny. I know the video on your website just shows adults and not kids – but kids are buying these and taking your challenge. I don’t care how many warnings you put on the package and your site and social media. Stop this nonsense now. Paqui I’ll give you a challenge – drop this challenge – take this off the market now and focus on your other chips and build a brand without a dangerous gimmick.