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Lay's Chips, "Do Us a Flavor" contest

Updated: Tuesday, July 15 2014, 04:23 PM CDT

NEW YORK (AP)
-- American palates have changed considerably over the years, but is
the country ready for cappuccino-flavored Lay's?

Frito-Lay,
the snack division of PepsiCo Inc., will announce on Wednesday the
coffee-flavored chips as one of the four finalists for its second annual
"Do Us a Flavor" contest in the U.S., which gives people a chance to
create a new potato chip that is sold nationally and win $1 million. The
other three finalists are Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, Mango Salsa
and Wasabi Ginger.

Frito-Lay says the four
flavors are expected to start hitting shelves in late July. People will
then be able to vote online for their favorite through Oct. 18.

The promotional stunt is intended to boost customer engagement online and send fans to stores in search of the flavors.

But
it also reflects how Frito-Lay is trying to keep up with changing
tastes, with its ever-evolving lineup of potato chips now including
several Hispanic flavors. Later this month, it also plans to roll out
Lay's Stax chips in a Korean barbecue flavor and Lay's Stax in Thai
Sweet Chili flavor.

That would make them the
first Asian flavors of Lay's chips sold nationally in the U.S., not
counting the flavors it has introduced as part of the "Do Us a Flavor"
contest. Last year, Cheesy Garlic Bread beat out Chicken & Waffles
and Sriracha, a sauce commonly used in Thai cuisine.

"I
can't imagine us 10 years ago doing a wasabi ginger flavor," said Ram
Krishnan, Frito-Lay's senior vice president of brand marketing.

Despite
the growing popularity of ethnic flavors, the top four Lay's flavors
remain the same: Original, Barbecue, Cheddar & Sour Cream and Sour
Cream & Onion.

Frito-Lay notes that its
cappuccino flavor doesn't contain any actual coffee or caffeine. The
company last year discontinued a variety of Cracker Jack that contained
caffeine after the Food and Drug Administration said it was concerned
about the proliferation of caffeinated food and drinks. Frito-Lay says
it halted production because of weak demand, rather than regulatory
concerns.

Lay's Chips, "Do Us a Flavor" contest


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