Lay’s Launches New Marketing Campaign Celebrating Local People, Communities Behind America’s Favorite Potato Chips

May 12, 2009

PepsiCo Unit Frito-Lay Puts Spotlight on Local Potato Farmers as Faces for Iconic Brand

PLANO, Texas - Lay’s Potato Chips, America’s favorite potato chip, today launched a nationwide marketing campaign celebrating the power of the  people and communities across the country that produce its line of potato chips, marking the second phase of the brand’s repositioning strategy that started earlier this year.  The 360-degree “Lay’s Local” marketing campaign – which stands as the largest activation ever for PepsiCo’s (NYSE: PEP) Frito-Lay division – puts a spotlight on potato farmers from California, Florida, Maine, Michigan and Texas that grow potatoes used in Lay’s Potato Chips as the faces for the iconic brand in :30 national and regional television spots that play a central role to the initiative.

The farmers featured in the national and regional television spots – which launch May 18, 2009 – will join the Lay’s Potato Chips brand team to kick off the national campaign by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange this morning.

In addition to the national and regional television spots, the  “Lay’s Local” campaign will be supported by a comprehensive marketing effort that celebrates the local connections of the brand through national print advertising, on-pack messaging and 40,000 in-store displays that are customized for each participating state to celebrate local connections and contributions to Lay’s Potato Chips.  The brand also will participate in more than 50 local-market events throughout the country celebrating the local communities that play a role in making Lay’s Potato Chips, ranging from the Maine Potato Blossom Festival to the Hall of Fame Parade in Canton, OH to the Utah Pioneer Days.

“While Lay’s Potato Chips have been one of the most popular snacks since they were introduced, what people might not realize is how many communities across the country play a role in the creation of America’s favorite potato chip,” said Dave Skena, vice president of potato chip marketing, Frito-Lay North America.  “The truth is we are closer to home than people might expect and we felt it was only fitting to put the spotlight on these people and communities and celebrate the contributions they’ve made to the Lay’s brand.”

More than 80 farms from 27 states across the country grow the potatoes that become Lay’s potato chips.  In fact, in 2008 alone the brand used more than two billion pounds of potatoes from these farmers.  In addition, Lay’s potato chips are made in 18 states at Frito-Lay facilities stretching from the East to West Coast and Frito-Lay  employs a team of more than 40,000 people in all 50 states.

The farmers highlighted in the new Lay’s Potato Chips television spots include:
• Brian Kirschenmann of Kirschenmann Farms in Bakersfield, Calif.: fifth-generation potato farmer whose potatoes have gone into Lay’s Potato Chips since 1974
• Jack Wallace Sr. and Jack Wallace Jr. of Jack Wallace Farms in Edinburg, TX: grower of potatoes for Lay’s potato chips since 1964
• Steve Singleton of Singleton Farms in Hastings, Fla.: Potato farming runs in the family and Singleton has grown potatoes for Lay’s Potato Chips since 1982
• Darrell McCrum of the Maine Potato Alliance in Mars Hill, Maine: a fifth-generation potato farmer who has grown potatoes for Lay’s Potato Chips for 23 years
• Brian Walther and Gary Walther of Walther Farms in Three Rivers, Mich.: brothers and third-generation potato farmers whose family’s potatoes have gone into Lay’s Potato Chips since 1975

The Lay’s brand began a repositioning in early 2009 that introduced a new theme line, “Happiness is Simple,” designed to uniquely celebrate the brand, its place in Americana and role in bringing people together for life’s simple pleasures.  The campaign highlighted the simplicity of Lay's Classic Potato Chips in a day and age where consumers are looking to keep things less complex.  The “Lay’s Local” campaign builds upon the “Happiness is Simple” foundation to tell the stories around the brand’s many connections throughout the country.

“We are extremely grateful for the relationships we have with the farmers and communities that have built the Lay’s brand into a success over the years,” Skena added. “People have an interest in knowing where their products are made and share a sense of pride knowing the role they play in a success story like Lay’s Potato Chips, and our hope is that this campaign helps put a spotlight on these communities and demonstrates the appreciation we have for their contributions.”

“Lay’s Local” is supported by multiple agency partners: Juniper Park (advertising, in-store), OMD (media buying), The Marketing Arm (events) and Ketchum (public relations).

Frito-Lay North America is the $12 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo, which is headquartered in Purchase, N.Y. In addition to Frito-Lay, PepsiCo business units include Pepsi-Cola, Quaker Foods, Gatorade and Tropicana.  Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate Web site,, and the Snack Chat blog,