Does Frito-Lay want a taste of the candy market?

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

Frito-Lay's limited edition chocolate covered Wavy chips have been launched at a clever time - when consumers are ditching snacks for candy, says Leatherhead
Frito-Lay's limited edition chocolate covered Wavy chips have been launched at a clever time - when consumers are ditching snacks for candy, says Leatherhead

Related tags: Savory snack market, Potato chip

Frito-Lay’s move to develop chocolate-dipped potato chips bridges the gap into candy, broadening its consumer catchment at a clever time, says an analyst.

The snack titan has developed a limited edition chocolate dipped variant of Lay’s Wavy potato chips for the holiday season. The product is available across the US in Target stores, starting this week while supplies last.

“Frito-Lay doesn’t play in the confectionery market particularly. In the same way they ‘snackified’ drinks and ‘drinkified’ snacks; this new product sort of bridges a gap into another market,”​ said Steve Osborn, business development manager at Leatherhead Food Research.

“Of course you’ve got brand loyalty with a Frito-Lay product, so people are going to try it. It’s about bringing the confectionery consumer into the savory snack market,”​ he told BakeryandSnacks.com.

It also targets confectionery consumers at a time of year when candy is the main purchase – the holiday season – from Thanksgiving through to Christmas, he said.

“This is a time of year when a lot of people will be eating candy and probably neglecting savory snacks.”

Short-loved novelty – nothing more…

However, Osborn said the chocolate covered chips won’t have any long-term success.

“It’s going to be a short-loved, high publicity, novelty product that people pick up over the holidays. It won’t go into the new year.”

“…I’m not sure there is any longevity in the product and I don’t think Frito-Lay believes there is any longevity either.”

It is just an opportunity for Frito-Lay to present another product to the market – something a little unusual, he said.

When savory and sweet collide

The combination of savory and sweet is nothing new, Osborn said.

“It’s one of those things that comes around every now and then to challenge the norm and the paradigms.

“…We’ve seen it before. It rears its head every now and then – it’s a bit like 3D films; every 20 years there is a resurgence.”

There are some products that have proved successful - salted chocolate and chocolate pretzels, for example, he said. Pringles also launched a chocolate-covered Christmas variety earlier this month in the UK market.

However, he said the fact that products have been launched repeatedly without any long-term, solid market traction indicates the same will stand true for Frito-Lay.

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