Hot Topic: Lay’s secures permanent spot for fan-favorite spicy pickle flavor

By Kristine Sherred

- Last updated on GMT

The new packaging features a 'can't miss' purple and a fire-edged black border. Pic: Frito-Lay North America
The new packaging features a 'can't miss' purple and a fire-edged black border. Pic: Frito-Lay North America

Related tags Lay's Pepsico Frito-lay north america Frito-lay Potato chips Flavors Spice R&D limited edition New product development

The flavor went viral upon its limited-edition release earlier this year, leading Lay’s to select it as the first product in brand-new packaging, hitting US shelves Monday.

Frito-Lay introduced the hot dill flavor in February alongside two others – Lime Sea Salt and Classic Beer Cheese – as part of its ‘Turn Up the Flavor’ music-focused campaign with British popstar Bebe Rexha. All three bags featured a brightly colored border on other side of a white center with stylized images of the ingredients inspiring each flavor.

The permanent edition of the Flamin’ Hot Dill Pickle chips offers a sneak peek of the brand’s redesign, set to hit shelves across the line later this month. A ‘can’t-miss’ purple bag keeps Lay’s iconic yellow and red ribbon logo but adds a ‘fiery’ black border and realistic images of ingredients – in this case, cayenne peppers and, of course, pickles.

“We know Flamin’ Hot is an undisputed crowd pleaser for those that love spice, but tangy flavors are also on the rise – as evidenced by the response we received to [this flavor] earlier this year, when consumers sent in a flurry of tweets and e-mails with their rave reviews,” ​Katie Ceclan, senior director of marketing for Frito-Lay North America, told BakeryandSnacks.

“Fans love the surprising flavor combination of a sour pickle laced with heat, so when it came time to choose a flavor that would turn people’s heads in Lay’s brand-new packaging, Flamin’ Hot Dill Pickle was the clear winner.”

Rebranding for a new era

Lay’s previous rebrand lightened up the sunshine yellow of the original and simplified, modernized the text, and added a sliced potato morphing into crispy potato chips. The agency that developed this concept, Perspective Branding, said returning those ‘craft details’ to the packaging reinforced the product presentation – and made it easily replicable for global distribution.

At the time, Lay’s was expanding into 25 countries​ with localized names, languages and flavors.

More recently, the brand worked with Vivaldi, a New York-based firm, to change its motto from ‘Betcha can’t eat just one’​ to ‘Get Your Smile On.’ The latter initiative has spurred such promos as the Smilers bags​, which this year featured real people doing valuable work in their communities.

Flavor Mania

In a promotional series called ‘Do Us A Flavor,’ launched in 2012, Lay’s asked fans to suggest flavor ideas​. The first winner was Cheesy Garlic Bread, named by a family in Wisconsin that landed a $1m prize.

The PepsiCo subsidiary has toyed with many-a-flavors over the years through this campaign: Crispy Taco, Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese, Wavy Fried Green Tomato. Some focused on a theme like regional foods, which led to a New York Reuben and Southern Biscuits and Gravy.

During the 2016 Summer Olympics, Lay’s went global with tastes including an Indian Tikka Masalad, Greek Tzatziki and Brazilian Picanha (a fatty club of beef similar to a filet).

In 2014, Cappuccino and Mango Salsa were among the choices.

The classic Lay’s lineup currently includes a separate Flamin’ Hot and a Dill Pickle.

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