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Frito-Lay Cheetos-Doritos combo: It’s taking a shot at an empty net, says Euromonitor

By Kacey Culliney+

11-Apr-2014
Last updated the 11-Apr-2014 at 17:26 GMT

Frito-Lay has created a product consumers will love
Frito-Lay has created a product consumers will love "without taking a shot in the dark", says Matthew Hudak

Frito-Lay has pulled Cheetos and Doritos into one bag for its latest snack launch; a move that is less about innovation and more just an easy win, says Euromonitor International.

The snack titan has combined Cheetos Flamin’ Hot and Doritos Dinamita Chile Limon into one “playful” snack combo “that delivers a double-dose of crunch and spice”. The snack combo has been launched nationwide across the US.

Matthew Hudak, packaged food analyst at Euromonitor International, said the move was less about innovation and more just “taking a shot at an empty net”.

Frito-Lay already knew how popular each snack brand was, and has made the understandable assumption that a combination would work well, he told BakeryandSnacks.com.  “They’re just making it easier for consumers; putting things together. It makes sense.”

Such product development was a very easy and simple way to create a new product that people would love, he said, “without taking a shot in the dark that maybe it won’t catch on”.

The consumer wants it? Okay, we’ll make it…

Ram Krishnan, vice president of marketing at Frito-Lay, said company research indicated that both brands appealed to the same consumer. “So we made it easier to enjoy them together as the ultimate spicy and crunchy snack combination,” he said.

Last month, Frito-Lay’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer Anindita Mukherjee told attendees at Snaxpo 2014 in Dallas, Texas, that consumers were in charge of business and ultimately driving and defining innovation.

“They [the consumer] are more empowered today than they ever have been before, and it’s because of that, we’re shifting into their world of demand,” she said.

She said the ‘build it and they will come’ concept was dead and that snack makers needed to architect demand in a way that created business, but that started with consumer demands.

Frito-Lay had invested heavily in understanding consumer demands in snacking, she said, and always worked to design new products around this. “If you unlock real insight, it can unlock real demand.”

Mega portfolio enables this NPD

Hudak said Frito-Lay’s extensive brand portfolio made it easier to create such a product.

“Frito-Lay has so many brands in the sweets and savory snacks aisle and a lot of other companies only have one or two brands, so there’s really probably only one company you’d see this from… Frito-Lay is different because the snack aisle is mostly theirs,” he said.

When bringing any brands together, companies must always consider brand protection and ensure they continue to fulfil a certain goal, he said. “But, if they’re pretty cross-comparable, then it’s a good tactic that can work well.”

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