PLANO, Texas — Power up those taste buds —a nationwide search for the next great Lay’s potato chip flavor is officially underway. Lay’s, one of the marquee brands from PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, today kicked off its “Do Us A Flavor” contest that invites fans to submit their potato chip flavor ideas for the chance to win $1 million in grand prize money or one percent of their flavor’s 2013 net sales (whichever is higher). From now until Oct. 6, consumers can share their flavor inspirations on the Lay’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/lays), with the winning flavor being revealed in 2013, the year Lay’s – America’s most-loved potato chip brand – celebrates its 75-year anniversary.
To launch the contest, the Lay’s brand is creating its first-ever pop-up store in New York City’s Times Square – a place known for bringing unique flavors from around the world together. At this one-of-a-kind Lay’s flavor destination, consumers can sample up to 20 existing Lay’s flavors and learn about unique Lay’s potato chip flavors from around the world in order to excite their palates and inspire their contest submissions. Actress and restaurateur Eva Longoria, and celebrity chef and restaurateur Michael Symon also will be on hand to encourage fans to submit their winning flavor ideas.
“We’ve created some really great potato chip flavors over the years, but this time around we’re asking our consumers to weigh in and share their ideas for what comes next,” said Ram Krishnan, vice president of marketing, Frito-Lay North America. “With a mix of traditions, cultures and backgrounds, we know our fans have what it takes to come up with a truly winning flavor that will be a delicious treat for fans all across the country. We can’t wait to see what fans come up with and all the creative submissions.”
As the largest food brand in the world, Lay’s has a global reach that many don’t realize. The “Do Us A Flavor” contest has already been held in numerous countries with consumers suggesting more than eight million ideas for chips flavors around the world. From the UK and India to Australia and South Africa, the “Do Us A Flavor” contest has resulted in a wide spectrum of popular consumer-created chip flavors, including Mastana Mango, Walkie Talkie Chicken, Caesar Salad, Chilli & Chocolate, Late Night Kebob and even Cajun Squirrel. Today’s launch marks the first time the “Do Us A Flavor” contest has been held in the U.S.
Beyond their involvement in the contest launch, Longoria and Symon also will be part of a judging panel made up of chefs, foodies and flavor experts who will narrow down the contest submissions to three finalist flavors. In addition, the two will appear in national television and online advertising, as well as a retail marketing campaign to support the contest. Longoria, an award-winning actress, best-selling cookbook author, philanthropist, is the owner of Beso, one of the hottest eateries in Los Angeles and Las Vegas known for its eclectic menu of colorful and tasty dishes from around the world. Originally from Cleveland, Symon is the current co-host of the ABC daytime talk show “The Chew” and appears on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and Cooking Channel’s “Symon’s Suppers.” He is also the owner of four award-winning restaurants located in America’s heartland: Lola, Lolita, Roast and B Spot, as well as the recently opened Bar Symon inside Pittsburgh International Airport.
“To me, the best part about the contest is that you don’t have to be a foodie, chef or flavor expert to enter,” explained Eva Longoria. “You just have to trust your taste buds. If you’re passionate about a flavor, likely there are others who agree.”
“I am constantly impressed with the range of flavor combinations possible in the culinary world, which presents an exciting variety of options for the next great potato chip,” said Chef Michael Symon. “I’m confident America has what it takes to create a delicious new potato chip flavor. The tough part will be reviewing the many creative ideas and selecting our top three.”
Now through Oct. 6, 2012, fans can submit their flavor suggestions on the Lay’s Facebook page or by using their cell phone to text FLAVOR to CHIPS (24477). To submit a suggestion, fans will be asked to provide their name, flavor name, up to three possible ingredients and a 140-character description or inspiration for their flavor.
Visitors to the Lay’s “Do Us A Flavor” Page can interact on Facebook in deeper, more social ways. Exclusively for the contest, consumers can select their favorite flavors by clicking an "I'd Eat That" button (rather than the Facebook Like button), and they can share their voting activity back to the Facebook community, providing consumers with a fun opportunity to interact with their friends and other contestants in head-to-head “flavor showdowns.” In addition, consumers in need of additional inspiration can use Chef Michael Symon’s “Flavorizer” app, which scans the individual’s Facebook timeline to recommend ingredients most unique to him or her.
Three finalist flavors will be fully developed by Frito-Lay’s culinary experts and unveiled in early 2013. Then, it will be up to fans to vote for the finalist flavor they love most with the winning flavor being revealed in May 2013. The two runner-up finalists will each win $50,000 in prize money, with the grand prize winner taking home $1 million or one percent of the 2013 net sales of the winning flavor (whichever is higher). More details and official contest rules are available at www.facebook.com/lays.
Lay’s potato chips is one of the billion-dollar brands that makes up Frito-Lay North America, the $13 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. Learn more about Lay’s by visiting www.facebook.com/lays or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lays.
PepsiCo is a global food and beverage leader with net revenues of more than $65 billion and a product portfolio that includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. Our main businesses – Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and Pepsi-Cola – make hundreds of enjoyable foods and beverages that are loved throughout the world. PepsiCo’s people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet, which we believe also means a more successful future for PepsiCo. We call this commitment Performance with Purpose: PepsiCo’s promise to provide a wide range of foods and beverages for local tastes; to find innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment by conserving energy and water and reducing packaging volume; to provide a great workplace for our associates; and to respect, support and invest in the local communities where we operate. For more information, please visit http://www.pepsico.com/.