Lay's Adding Chocolate to Chips

Published in CSP Daily News

Rolling out new flavor mashup at Target

PLANO, Texas -- Lay's on Friday will announce plans next week to roll out Lay's Wavy Potato Chips Dipped in Milk Chocolate, reported USA Today.

For Lay's, it's about growing beyond the constraints of the salty snack, according to the report. There is a growing consumer demands for flavor mashups. And others want to snack healthier. At $3.49 for a five-oz. bag, the Lay's Wavy dipped in chocolate is just the latest in a flood of sweet and salty products that have caught the national taste bud in the past few years, from ice-cream stuffed with pretzels to pretzels coated with chocolate, said the report.

The chocolate-covered chip also ties in with a flood of seasonal, limited-time-only snacks that increasingly hit the market between Halloween and New Year's, the report added.

And both trends tie in to a third even larger trend: the overall increase in snacking. Some 43% of consumers now snack three to four times daily vs. 24% in 2009, according to research firm IRI.

"Flavors are getting more sophisticated and complex," saidTom Vierhile, innovation insights director at consumer products research firm DataMonitor. "We are seeing more products that may pair traditional flavor opposites" like sweet and salty, he told the newspaper.

Because the move into sweet snacks is still unusual for a salty snack giant like Lay's, the rollout will be limited on two counts. The chocolate-dipped chips will be sold only at Target stores. At the same time, the initial test is for limited-time-only distribution to stretch through the holidays.

But if the chip is a major hit, it could ultimately become permanent, said Ram Krishnan, vice president of marketing at Frito-Lay.

"When you try something drastically different, you have to walk before you can run," Krishnan told the paper. "We wanted to test our way through this before we go big."

Plenty of smaller rivals already have chocolate-dipped chips on the market. But — except for its

Frito-Lay North America, Plano, Texas, is the $13 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo, which is headquartered in Purchase, N.Y.