Today (prompted by a breadcrumb of other thoughts), I found myself thinking about how Lays used to be called Ruffles Lays, atleast in India. But when I looked it up, I couldn’t find a shred of textual evidence on the Internet. Pretty much everything listed Ruffles and Lays as two separately owned brands under Pepsico.
And this wasn’t actually the first time I’d thought about this. I’d thought about it before but was just to lazy to search more and prove my memory right.
Until today –
I found this video from years ago – published 2012 , but I know it’s atleast from a decade more ago – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhXog54Ipaw
that proved definitively that it used to be called Ruffles Lays !!
Then came the inevitable rabbit-hole-diving that led me to reading about the supply chain journey of potatoes ending up as Lays – well, whatever’s public info anyway. Thank you Meeta Punjabi, 2015 – http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/ivc/PDF/Asia/15_Punjabi_potato_contract_farming_for_Pepsi_India_formatted.pdf
Then there was a thought about the whole “which flavors are in India (since 1995) and which ones aren’t” and how new flavors are introduced. One of the first major introductions-in-forever came with Lays Maxx made it here in 2015 –
But there were older ones surely? When was that Caribbean flavor introduced? Wasn’t it called West Indies something? And that meant some association with Cricket…right?
I thought about this a lot before I finally hit upon 2 articles – one that proved that this flavor was atleast as old as 2012 –
a) A guy reviewed it here as received from an Indian friend of his in 2012 – http://www.thejfg.com/2012/11/23/review-lays-west-indies-hot-n-sweet-chilli-potato-chips-the-ghost-town-of-dc-black-friday/#sthash.s7KAiiqP.dpbs
b) I searched for Lays in association with flavors in 2011 after I found article (a) and this led me to finding DING DING DING
There were SIX flavors introduced as part of the World Cup 2011 promo! Each for one of the countries playing in the WC :
- Herb ‘n’ Lime (Aus)
- Peri Peri Sauce (SA)
- Sweet Onion Sauce (SL)
- Grilled Cheese (Eng)
- Hot & Sweet Chilli (WI) aaand
- Magic Masala (Ind)
Somehow 3 of the 6 from this list have gotten all but phased out from the Indian Market. The Grilled Cheese flavor makes an appearance every now and then, but let’s be real. It isn’t reeally going to make it back here…(awkward)…
I have never heard of Mango Mastana or Hip Hop Honey. But if either of these were on shelves I would not buy them.
2013 apparently saw the arrival of French Salt & Pepper and Chile Lemon. How are these winners of over 120 available flavors across the world?
“The company recently launched two new flavors – Lay’s Chile Limon and Lay’s French Salt & Cracked Pepper. To promote both the flavours, the brand has also launched a set of TVCs beginning with Chile Limon flavour. The Lay’s French Salt & Cracked Pepper, which will have a universal positioning would be unveiled after 20 days.”– Prasant Naidu, 2013 – https://www.business2community.com/social-media/lays-india-announces-two-new-flavours-but-cuts-down-on-social-media-buzz-0428683
And yes, there are at least 120 flavors of Lays globally – https://taquitos.net/snack_guide/Lays_Potato_Chips… Of course, filtration was probably done by way of availability of raw product and what was Feasible to sell while making a profit. But still..come on Pepsico -.-
Also Lays, Cheetos and Uncle Chipps are All owned by PepsiCo. So next time you say “I hate Cheetos but I love Lays”, you should know that it doesn’t matter.
But you probably knew that… I didn’t.