Home / Newsroom / Media Article


Member of the Media?

If you're looking for more information, please fill out the form below.

Please understand that media contacts are listed for the sole purpose of providing assistance to members of the press. We ask that consumers contact our consumer response team.

America Has Voted! Lay's Crispy Taco Crowned 2017 Lay's "Do Us A Flavor" Winner

Oct 11, 2017

PLANO, Texas (October 11, 2017) - This summer, three new flavor-packed dishes were transformed into Lay's newest potato chips, with all vying for a chance to be the next Lay's "Do Us a Flavor" contest champion. America stepped up to the challenge by trying all three flavors and voting. And, today, Lay's — one of the marquee brands from PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division — is pleased to name Lay's Crispy Taco this year's "Do Us a Flavor" winner. Ellen Sarem, who submitted the idea and inspiration behind this year's winning flavor, will take home $1 million as part of her victory.

Sarem, a San Antonio, Texas native, drew inspiration for the Crispy Taco potato chip from her years of working hard to perfect her taco recipe for her now-fiancé. Her first attempt at making the dish was less than perfect, but her now-successful flavorful technique includes fresh ingredients like lettuce, tomato and cheese and it has proven to be quite the crowd pleaser.

"This year's competition was fueled not only by great flavors, but also by the people and stories behind each one of them. We've now introduced a total of 14 flavors to America throughout this iconic contest and, if one thing has remained unchanged, it is that our fans have incredible ideas for the next flavors of Lay's," said Sarah Guzman, senior director of marketing, Frito-Lay. "We've been following along with the fan responses this year, and we are beyond excited to congratulate Ellen on her $1 million flavor idea – Crispy Taco."

When asked what she plans to do with the $1 million grand prize, Sarem said she is looking forward to taking a family vacation, while also setting something aside for her young son's future education. The two runner-up finalists will be walking away as winners too as Lindsay Hoffman from Palm City, Fla., who submitted Lay's Kettle Cooked Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese, and Gregory Pope from Charlotte, N.C., who submitted Lay's Wavy Fried Green Tomato, will each receive $50,000.

About the Contest
PepsiCo has held "Do Us a Flavor" contests in numerous countries with consumers suggesting millions of ideas for chip flavors around the world. In July 2012, the Lay's brand launched its first "Do Us a Flavor" contest in the U.S., which resulted in Lay's Cheesy Garlic Bread submitted by Karen Weber-Mendham, a children's librarian from Land O'Lakes, Wis., being selected as the first $1 million winner. The contest returned to the U.S. for a second time in Jan. 2014, which resulted in Lay's Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger submitted by Meneko Spigner McBeth, a nurse from Deptford, N.J., as the second grand-prize winner. And in January 2015, the third installment began, which later crowned Lay's Southern Biscuits and Gravy the winner. The winning submission was from Hailey Green, a travel agent from Noblesville, Ind.

More details and official contest rules are available at www.Lays.com.

Corporate graphics for download
Frito-Lay Logo
Download our Frito-Lay Quick Facts Sheet (PDF)

Quick Facts PDF 
Contact Us With Media Related Questions

Media Email
For Investors

Frito-Lay North America is the $15 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo, whose headquarters are located in Purchase, NY. In addition to Frito-Lay, PepsiCo business units include Pepsi-Cola, Quaker Foods, Gatorade and Tropicana.

More about PepsiCo


The Inside Scoop On The Snacks You Love!

Sign up for exclusive updates on new tastes, fun tips, entertainment and great deals. If you want to up your snack game, SNACK PERKS is for you.