Look at me with the acronyms.
I know the new economy is supposed to be all about putting the consumer in charge. (Either that or putting the consumer into bankruptcy - I forget which.)
So lots of companies have responded by introducing products that let the customer design their own product. Hence the rise of those Mongolian BBQ restaurants where you pick all of your own ingredients before the chef fries it all up for you. (By the way: Really? That's how they roll in Mongolia?) And that's why Nike and Puma have web sites that let you choose the colors and design of your tennis shoes. (Hey, Puma even calls their service "Mongolian Shoe BBQ." Seriously, I had no idea Mongolians were such do-it-yourselfers.)
Me? Unless I'm getting paid for my vegetable-and-spice selecting abilities, I'm happy to go to a restaurant and let the chef actually do all of the work - including determining how many water chestnuts and how much paprika to use. And the shoe companies employ professional shoe designers, I'm pretty sure. People who probably went to school for this stuff. Given the same palette of colors and materials, I'm pretty sure they'll design a better shoe than I could.
But I'm a little bit torn about the latest entry into the do-it-yourself pantheon. Because Kettle Chips, which makes the absolute best potato chip in the history of crisped vegetable snacks (see the first bullet point here), has introduced a make-your-own-potato-chip-flavor kit.
That is, they send you a few bags of naked chips and seven packets of seasoning - lemon butter, caramelized onion (the carmelized part seems weird because it's in powder form, but whatever), roasted tomato, cheddar, vinegar, sweet chili and sour cream & chive - that you can mix and match to create what is sure to be either a snack that is uniquely suited to your personal preferences or - and this seems like a distinct possibility - a truly frightening combination of powdered flavor granules.
So, I'm on the fence here. On the one hand, Kettle Chips has done a pretty good job coming up with a flavor I dig (namely spicy thai). On the other, I'm sort of curious what a lemon butter-cheddar-onion-vinegar potato chip would taste like.