From carnitas to pressed sushi wrapped in persimmon leaf: The 52 new potato chip flavours from Lay’s and Calbee

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: Calbee/PepsiCo
Pic: Calbee/PepsiCo

Related tags PepsiCo Frito-Lay Calbee coronavirus Potato chips

PepsiCo’s Lay’s has replicated the flavours of the Chef’s Specials from five iconic American restaurants, while Calbee has released 47 flavours, one for each prefecture of Japan.

The limited-time-only Lay’s Flavor Icons portfolio offers up a diverse range of tastes from coast to coast.

Lays Flavor Icons

  • From the East coast, Kettle Cooked New York Style Pizza is based on Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn, New York, which has served up coal-fired pies for decades.
  • Heading West, Nashville Hot Chicken is a take on the Southern specialty from the Music City’s Party Fowl.
  • Philly Cheesesteak riffs on the cheese- and meat-laden sandwiches from one of the state’s reigning cheesesteak kings, Geno’s Steaks.
  • For Western-style flair, Lay’s taps Southern California’s El Torito for its Carnitas Street Taco for its Wavy chips, and Albuquerque’s Cocina Azul for Chile Relleno (a chilli pepper that is stuffed, battered and fried).

The restaurant-inspired Lay’s are bang on cue in the current environment. The restaurant industry has experienced catastrophic losses and profound changes resulting from the pandemic. According to the National Restaurant Association, the industry lost more than $80bn during the first two months as lockdown was implemented across the US.

Although most Americans long to return to a semblance of normal life, NRA reports indicate 80% of them are still anxious about the safety of dining out. On the other hand, Frito-Lay’s latest Snack Index found that one in three (34%) consumers are expecting to do more virtual hangouts with friends this summer. Which means snacks.

Lay’s Flavor Icons are rolling out in stores across the US from July 13. Lay’s Chile Relleno variant will be available exclusively at WalMart and 7-Eleven.

Gyoza, dandan noodles, dried baby sardines and more

Japan is known for its seasonal – and oft unusual – snacks and Calbee is not disappointing fans. The Japanese snack purveyor is launching 47 different flavours of potato crisps, each themed after a different prefecture in Japan.

Calbee Love Japan Project

Calbee launched the Love Japan Project four years ago to help people discover other parts of Japan via the respective prefectures’ most distinctive dish. Throughout July, it is releasing the new flavours, including some of the most popular flavours from previous years, like its flagship Potato Chips Crisp, Sapporo Potato and Kappa Ebisen.

Calbee’s exotic releases include:

  • Fukuoka: Burdock tempura udon-flavoured Jagariko
  • Hiroshima: Soupless dandan noodle-flavoured Kappa Ebisen
  • Hokkaido: Salt kombu-flavoured Jagariko
  • Kyoto: Chirimen (dried baby sardines) and sansho pepper-flavoured Kataage Potato
  • Nagano: Pickled nozawana-flavoured potato chips
  • Nara: Kakino ha sushi (pressed sushi wrapped in persimmon leaf)-flavoured potato chips
  • Okinawa: Taco rice-flavoured potato chips
  • Osaka: Benishoga (pickled red ginger)-flavoured potato chips
  • Tokyo: Tempura-flavoured Kappa Ebisen
  • The full list of flavours can be found here.

The limited-edition snacks are available from convenience store and supermarket across Japan, as well as from the Calbee+ stores in Harajuku and Tokyo Station.

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