Why Are Paqui Chips So Expensive?

If you are a fan of eating chips and even enjoy the mouthwatering flavors of most chips, there are chances that you know or have heard about Paqui chips. However, it could be unlikely that you have ever tried them before. 

Paqui chips are expensive because the manufacturers strictly supply and sell them singly i.e, a single chip per packet or bag for about $4.99 to $6.99 depending on where you buy. The single chip is made with the hottest pepper in the world. Additionally, the other ingredients used for making paqui chips are often limited and in short supply. 

Producing and selling one single chip in a bag or package, and making it difficult to make multiple purchases seems a little counterintuitive. However, there could be more to Paqui chips than meets the eye. So, in this article, we are going to find out what makes Paqui chips so expensive. Keep reading to learn more! 

Are Paqui Chips Really That Expensive?

A bag or single packet of paqui chips goes for about $4.99 to $6.99 depending on where you order and buy. Since only a few people are interested in buying paqui chips, most vendors offer a selling package where you get a couple of more than one single packet for about $57.25 to as much as $200+ for four packs. 

However, the amount at which you purchase paqui chips depends on how many you order and your reason for ordering. Interestingly, paqui chips are expensive because most of the ingredients used for producing them are usually limited in supply. 

As you know, the law of demand and supply plays an enormous role where the scarce availability of ingredients for making paqui chips causes the end product to be limited in supply and invariably expensive. 

In addition, paqui chips are extremely hot because they are made from a unique combination of super-hot peppers and feature the current world’s hottest pepper each time. For example, in 2022, the current holder of the world’s hottest pepper is the Carolina Reaper. 

Therefore any batch of paqui chips prepared this year will have a greater proportion of the Carolina Reaper. Furthermore, the essential ingredients for making paqui chips include the current world’s hottest pepper, other super hot peppers, other relevant spices, and other minor additives like butter, etc.

Fun Fact: Paqui is an Aztec word, meaning “to be happy”, and corresponds to the feel-good hormone generated after eating peppery foods.   

What Are Paqui Chips? Who Makes Them And Why?

What Are Paqui Chips?

Paqui chips are a special kind of crispy light and super spicy snack similar to potato chips, measuring about nine million Scoville heat units. According to information available on the paqui website, they are made with natural non-GMO (non-genetically modified) ingredients, to make them a super spicy alternative to mainstream nacho-chip brands. 

As a result, the warmth should make your body happy to eat them. Technically, high spicy foods contain specific phytochemicals that cause the brain to produce happy hormones as a defense mechanism to counteract the unpleasurable effect of perceiving capsaicin or piperine. 

Who Makes Paqui Chips?

Paqui chips are an original product of Paqui Inc., an Austin Tx-based manufacturer of tortillas and tortilla chips. A recent report reveals that the company has been acquired by a Chicago-based SkinnyPop Popcorn LLC. 

However, according to Food Business News, the Paqui founder, Doug Lyon decided to join SkinnyPop as its vice president of creativity and innovation.

Why Make Paqui Chips?

Paqui as a company is committed to producing tortilla chips and tortillas that both taste amazing and are healthy. Even more, paqui chips are now recently featured in an online social media contest known as “the paqui one chip challenge”. 

The challenge offers a unique approach to holding recreational hot pepper eating contests and costs about $6 to enter the competition. The recent popularization of the paqui one chip challenge appears to create a new purpose for paqui. While the contest is safe because the paqui chip is completely organic, it is not for everyone. 

The contest subjects you to eating a single chip prepared with the hottest peppers on the planet (Carolina Reaper for now). 

A safety disclaimer by the organizers of the paqui one chip challenge explains that individuals with sensitivity to spicy foods, pepper allergies, pregnant, lactating, or having any medical conditions, including peptic and gastric ulcers should not participate in the contest.  

Below is a short table representing the 2021 accepted ratings for the paqui one chip challenge.   

Time enduring limit after eating Paqui chipsDesignation
5 minutesPowerless
10 minutesPowerful
30 minutesSupercharged
One hourInvincible

It should be noted that winning the competition requires an endurance limit of about one hour and above after eating the paqui chips before seeking an antidote to the spiciness.  

Are Paqui Chips Equally Flavored?

Not all paqui chips have the same degree of spiciness. Paqui chips come in different spice flavors and most people attempt eating different flavors to prepare their taste buds for the paqui one chip challenge. Here is a list outlining the various paqui chips flavors from freaking hot to not hot( in descending degree of hotness, one to five).

Haunted Ghost Pepper

It is the spiciest and most popular paqui chip available in most stores. It contains a blend of ghost peppers with cayenne pepper and chipotle pepper to make them freaking hot. 

Fiery Chile Limon

It is a blend of red chili peppers and a dash of lime juice to yield a unique spicy yet tart flavor.  

Jalapeno Tropicale

For this flavor, the spicy jalapeno pepper is combined with a touch of pineapple to yield a perfect combo of sweet and spicy. 

Zesty Salsa Verde

It is one of the milder flavors of Paqui chips by combining a jolly blend of tangy tomato flavor with the smooth sour cream. Although it is one of the mildest flavors, it still has a little kick.

Mucho Nacho Cheese

This flavor is one of the most widely consumed flavors in the paqui chips product line. It is prepared with real cheddar cheese and real spices without any artificial flavoring. As a result, it is the perfect snack that satisfies the craving of a true spicy food and nacho lover.  

Fun Fact: Paqui chips are heavily fortified with a combo of the world’s hottest peppers and other spices to make them worthy of social hot pepper eating contests. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Healthy To Eat Paqui Chips?

Paqui chips are healthy to eat and are composed of organic ingredients to create the world’s hottest chips. Essential ingredients used in making paqui chips include but are not limited to hot peppers, especially the Carolina Reaper, onions, paprika, lime, etc. However, paqui chips can be pretty dangerous for people who are not up to it, with a low tolerance for hot peppers.

Why Are Paqui Chips So Hot?

Paqui chips are extremely hot because they are made using the current world’s hottest pepper as the chief ingredient. For now, the world’s hottest pepper is the Carolina Reaper. However, other super hot peppers like the Scorpion pepper, Ghost peppers, and other spices also go into the production of paqui chips to make them insanely hot and contest-worthy.

What Does the Supreme Rule of the Paqui One Chip Challenge State?

The supreme rule of the paqui one chip challenge states that “Participants are only allowed to eat one paqui chip and wait for as long as possible before trying to quench the burn.” Also “Contestants must endeavor to endure the pepper burn for about one hour to be declared the winner of the challenge.” Furthermore, contestants must post themselves on social media.”

Final Thoughts

Paqui chips are not well known by most people, except among chips enthusiasts and those who follow hot pepper eating contests and challenges. Now, you do not have to feel weird about how paqui chips are priced. Hopefully, this article adds to your general knowledge about an interesting topic in the spicy food niche. 

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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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