What happened when US consumers had chance to transform Lays chips line-up?

By Vince Bamford

- Last updated on GMT

New flavors were pitted against Lays classics
New flavors were pitted against Lays classics

Related tags Lay's Pepsico

A high-profile marketing push announced by PepsiCo in January gave US shoppers the chance to reshape the Lays potato chip line-up – and they have voted to keep it as it is.

When it announced the Flavor Swap campaign, the company said it was hoping to reflect Americans' changing tastes – and tap trends focused on spices, cheese, and herbs.

PepsiCo paired one of its classic Lays flavors against a new one and gave consumers to chance to vote for their favorite flavor in each pairing to become a permanent part of the line-up.

The pairings were:

  • Lay's Flamin' Hot vs. All-new Lay's Fiery Roasted Habanero
  • Lay's Cheddar & Sour Cream vs. All-new Lay's Smoked Gouda & Chive
  • Lay's Honey Barbecue vs. All-new Lay's Korean Barbecue
  • Lay's Kettle Cooked Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper vs. All-new Lay's Kettle Cooked Olive Oil & Herbs

'Millions of votes'

The “millions of votes​” have now been counted, and it turns out that US potato chip fans would rather keep the classics than opt for something inspired by “exotic spice flavors stemming from Indian and Japanese influences​” or even “floral flavors such as hibiscus, elderflower and lavender​”.

"We heard our fans loud and clear and are keeping the classic flavors around for them to enjoy​," said Jeannie Cho, vice president of marketing for Frito-Lay North America.

But the company hasn’t given up on trying to transform the chips aisle.

'Push the boundaries'

We will always continue to push flavor boundaries and keep asking our consumers for input​,” added Cho.

Flavor Swap took the place of a Do Us A Flavor promotion for Lays this year, but PepsiCo is running a Do Us A Flavor-style for its The Quaker Oats Company brand. ‘Bring Your Best Bowl’ invited Quaker consumers across the US to create a new flavor using two to five ingredients – submissions for this are now closed and finalists will be announced in the fall.

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wrong question

Posted by Elisabeth,

They asked the wrong question. It should have been "which flavors would you like to see IN ADDITION TO the old favorites?"
Nobody wants to get rid of old favorites, it doesn't matter how good the others are.

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The Fiery Roasted Habernaro Potato Chip Rocked!

Posted by Barry,

Just because the Fiery Habernaro Potato Chip lost in the battle to the well established Flamin' Hot flavor is no reason to flush that flavor down the toilet. It was really good and innovative.

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