Do Lays a Flavor, Will Ya?
By Kimberley Coughlin
Potato chip fans stand to win some serious coin if they can come up with the next big flavor for the brand to feature in its arsenal of already diverse offerings. The tagline concocted for the contest, Do Us a Flavor, may be even more clever than the suggestions from the contestants. The website features a “Flavor Showdown” in which two flavors of chips are matched up and participants have to choose which one they’d prefer to eat: Dark Chocolate Sea Salt or Crab Salad? I chose the former and so they replaced the latter with Apple Cinnamon. I stuck with my first choice and they offered Crispy Crab Cheese Puff. I decided to try one more time to see if something could top my savory-sweet first pick. I got Cherry Jalapeño Poppers and decided to call it a day — even my imaginary tastebuds refused to go down that road. When creating your own flavor, you first need to choose your own 32-character flavor name. I thought it was odd that they wanted you to name it before you create it. Unsure of the flavors I would go with I named my flavor “Chip off the Old Block” because I love puns and I figure that whatever I make will be just that (spoiler alert: I changed the name). The next step is to choose a style of chip: Original, Wavy or Kettle Cooked. I grew up in a Ruffles household so, for me, only one brand of chip has ridges — I went for the Original. I was then asked to choose three flavors. Suggestions populate once you start typing, but it’s not like there was a flavor bank for brainstorming. (Wasn’t life simpler when we had word banks to choose from?) My favorite chip flavors are, in no particular order, original, cheddar & sour cream, and sea salt & vinegar — I obviously appreciate the classics. What came to mind next kind of surprised me: Sesame Seaweed Soy Sauce. This may sound crazy to you, but to a sushi lover like me it sounds delish. I call it — Sea Soy. In today’s social media-driven world, the fastest way to create buzz is to tell your story in 140 characters or less, and Lays is all about the tweet traffic. My message? “When it comes to chips I'm usually a fan of the classics, but as a sushi lover this just seemed right - raw fish sold separately #SeaSoyLays.” After submitting your contact information (in case your flavor is selected as the winner, of course), you have the opportunity to share your flavor on social media or to go back and create a new chip. Underneath the “Create Another Flavor” button is the message, “Looks like somebody is really good at this chip-creation thing. Why not submit a few more? After all, there’s $1 million on the line.” I guess their Chicken and Waffles flavor wasn’t all that and a bag of chips.