Lay’s®, America’s favorite potato chip and a leading brand from PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, unveiled today a mobile greenhouse designed to bring a rural farm experience to the center of metropolitan areas across the country. The six-city “Lay’s Mobile Farm” tour kicks-off this morning in New York City’s iconic Times Square and will then travel to five other major cities throughout the U.S. – Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas. The campaign marks another phase of the brand’s strategy to celebrate the people and communities across the country that produce its line of potato chips.
Visitors to the “Lay’s Mobile Farm,” a 70-foot long, 10-foot wide and 14-foot high traveling greenhouse will have an opportunity to interact first-hand with plants, meet a Lay’s potato farmer and enjoy interactive stations. Families will also receive take-home educational materials that provide simple tips and fun activities to inspire at-home gardening.
To help get more gardens growing, the Lay’s brand will give away approximately 8,000 individual basil plants to people who participate in the farm experience. And, at the culmination of each city stop, the brand will donate all contents of the greenhouse to local community gardens, resulting in the planting of hundreds of vegetables and fruits in these urban areas.
“Many Americans are looking for ways to bring a taste of the simple life home and learn more about where their food comes from,” said Justin Lambeth, vice president, marketing, Frito-Lay North America. “As a brand that embraces simple happiness and includes just three simple ingredients in our Lay’s Classic potato chips, the ‘Lay’s Mobile Farm’ is a natural way for us to deliver that experience to our consumers.”
In the spirit of taking the farm to the heart of the city, the mobile tour will make stops in high-traffic areas in cities in each region of the country and ultimately will provide more than 50 potato, tomato, onion, pepper and basil plants to each of the non-profit groups that are creating and maintaining community gardens. The selected plants represent some of the all natural ingredients used in six new regionally inspired Lay’s potato chip flavors, including Garden Tomato & Basil, which will be available to try at each mobile farm stop.
Tour locations and partner organizations include:
• New York City - July 26: Times Square / New York Restoration Project
• Boston - July 30: City Hall Plaza / YMCA of Greater Boston
• Detroit - August 5: Tigers Stadium / To be determined prior to event
• Chicago - August 9: Millennium Park / Howard Area Community Center
• Los Angeles - August 17: The Grove / Los Angeles Community Garden Council
• Dallas - August 24: Rangers Ballpark / YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas
The farmers participating in the “Lay’s Mobile Farm” tour include:
• Brian Kirschenmann of Kirschenmann Farms in Bakersfield, Calif.: fifth-generation potato farmer whose potatoes have gone into Lay’s Potato Chips since 1974 (New York and Los Angeles events)
• Jack Wallace Jr. of Jack Wallace Farms in Edinburg, TX: grower of potatoes for Lay’s Potato Chips since 1964 (New York and Dallas events)
• Tom Hoekstra of Hoekstra Potato Farms in St. Anne, IL: a fourth-generation potato farmer whose farm has been growing potatoes for Lay’s Potato Chips for nearly 35 years (Chicago event)
• 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 (Boston event)
• 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 (New York and Detroit events)
To extend beyond each local event, people can visit www.lays.com to use the exclusive Chip Tracker to trace where their bags of Lay’s Classic Potato Chips were made (using a UPC code on each bag). Visitors to the web site can also learn more about Lay’s potato farms and farmers.
More than 80 farms from 27 states across the country grow the potatoes that become Lay’s potato chips. In fact, in 2009 alone the brand used more than 2.5 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 more than 45,000 people in all 50 states.
“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,” added Lambeth.
The “Lay’s Mobile Farm” tour is an extension of the successful Lay’s campaign that launched last year featuring the farmers that grow Lay’s Potato Chips. The campaign highlights seven local farmers in regions across the United States whose potatoes have gone into Lay’s Potato Chips since 1974. The program is also supported by a comprehensive marketing effort that celebrates the widespread connections of the brand through online, on-pack messaging, local event sponsorships and 24,000 in-store displays that are customized for each participating state to celebrate coast-to-coast connections and contributions to Lay’s Potato Chips.
The Lay’s campaigns are supported by multiple agency partners: Juniper Park (advertising) OMD (media buying), The Marketing Arm (events) and Ketchum (public relations).
Frito-Lay North America is the $13 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate Web site, http://www.fritolay.com/, the Snack Chat blog, http://www.snacks.com/ and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/fritolay.
PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that each generates more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Our main businesses - Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade - also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in more than 200 countries. With annualized revenues of nearly $60 billion, PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose. By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.