Lay’s is no. 9 most chosen global FMCG brand

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Lay's would be no. 5 most chosen FMCG brand if Walkers, Sabritas, Margarita and Elma Chips were included
Lay's would be no. 5 most chosen FMCG brand if Walkers, Sabritas, Margarita and Elma Chips were included

Related tags Europe

Frito-Lay’s flagship brand Lay’s has a global penetration of 26% and is the ninth most chosen fast-moving-consumer-goods (FMCG) brand in the world, according to Kantar World Panel.

Kantar World Panel’s Brand Footprint Report shows that Lay’s was chosen 1.1 billion times in 2012, on average 5.3 times in the year.

“Lay’s is reaching one-quarter of the global population every year; 26% penetration is very good,”​ said Virginia Garavaglia, marketing director for Asia at Kantar World Panel and project manager for the report.

“Lay’s is growing its reach points and touching more households. It has increased its reach by 3% for 2012,”​ Garavaglia told

Lay’s et al. is stronger…

Frito-Lay uses different names in some global markets for its Lay’s brand. In the UK it is known as ‘Walkers’, in Mexico ‘ Sabritas’, Venezuela ‘Margarita’ and in Brazil ‘Elma Chips’.

Lay's and Pepsi have the same reach really, says Garavaglia
Lay's and Pepsi have the same reach really, says Garavaglia

This is important to note, Garavaglia said, because if you include these four other names in the research, the brand would position at number five most chosen global FMCG product. Its reach would be up from 26% to 30% - on a par with its sister brand PepsiCo, she said.

“Normally people think that PepsiCo has a wider reach, but both would actually have 1.8 million reach points – chosen 1.8 million times in 2012 by consumers,”​ she said. 

Up in Asia, down in Europe and US

The growth of Lay’s (without its other four market names) has been exclusively driven by Asia and the Middle East regions, Garavaglia said.

Lay’s has a reach of 17% in China, 16% in India, 19% in Saudi Arabia and 3% in Thailand.

In Asia growth is being predominantly driven by China and India, she said.

“In the US and Europe however, the Lay’s brand reach is actually declining – by 4% in each region,” ​she said.

Kantar data shows that in the US Lay’s is losing buyers – penetration for 2012 was down 1.5% to 66.7%.

But in Europe, reasons varied. Penetration in Spain increased slightly but purchasing frequency declined from an average of 4.1 times a year to 3.7 times in 2012. But in Portugal and Greece Lay’s lost shoppers – penetration was down 3.6% and 1.6% consecutively.

Frito-Lay has developed market-specific flavors for China
Frito-Lay has developed market-specific flavors for China

What is Lay’s doing right?

“Frito-Lay’s adaptation to local flavors with the brand is amazing,”​ Garavaglia said. In China alone there are 18 locally-adapted flavors of Lay’s potato chips.

“Another good thing the brand is doing in Asia is that it has good distribution. The brand is widely available, even in rural areas and small villages,”​ she said.

Frito-Lay has also developed smaller variants for emerging markets that appeal to lower income households, she said, and the margins on these are much bigger for the company.

Competition is also very different in Asia for Frito-Lay, Garavaglia said.

“It’s quite interesting because in Asia private label is almost non-existent and in terms of snacking occasions the consumer may choose between potato chips or biscuits,”​ she said.

“Lay’s should really consider the biscuits market as its closest competitor,” ​she added.

What should it be doing better?

“Lay’s needs to revert the situation in the developed markets,”​ Garavaglia said.

Frito-Lay should also look to develop better in Asia, she said, as it has a very weak presence in Malaysia and is not present at all in Indonesia.

“Indonesia is a very important market with a population of 242 million – that’s 3% of the world population,”​ she said.

The full Brand Footprint Report​ can be found HERE.

Related news

Show more