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Lay’s: A Legend more than 75 Years in the Making

In many ways, the Lay's potato chips you enjoy today are much like the snacks Herman Lay began selling more than 75 years ago out of the back of his Model A car. They remain thin, crispy and delicious.

But if Lay and his first customers had been allowed a glimpse to today, they may have been surprised to see just how far innovation has propelled the potato chip forward. Lay's now boasts more than a dozen different flavors  in the U.S. alone – from one-of-a-kind offerings like Lay’s Poppables to hard-bite Lay’s Kettle Cooked products and  Lay’s Lightly Salted varieties which, on average, have 50 percent less sodium than the traditional counterparts.

“Lay’s has listened to our fans and we have developed products and programs that reflect their passions and interests,” said Sarah Guzman, senior director of marketing, Lay's. “Ensuring Lay’s has the best taste and variety of flavors is always top of mind. We continue to develop new and exciting products to keep Lay’s showing up in unique ways, as well.”

The Lay's brand has evolved in no small part because of the continued focus on the consumer experience:

  • The “Do Us a Flavor” campaign has helped introduce creative flavors pitched by fans - from Crispy Taco to Wasabi Ginger and Southern Biscuits & Gravy – and let America decide the final flavor.

  • The “Smile with Lay's” campaign features specially designed bags in support of Operation Smile. For every purchase of the bags, Lay's donates to the international children's charity that provides surgical care to children and young adults who suffer from cleft conditions. Lay’s fans can even join in the fun by ordering a personalized Smile Bag featuring an image of their own smiles, then snap a picture and share it with #SmileWithLays.

What does the future hold? While spicy foods were once a regional trend found mainly in the west and southwest, today foods that offer heat are on trend everywhere. And with global cuisines increasingly becoming mainstream, the variety of dishes that can inspire Lay’s chip flavors are endless.

“We expect tastes will continue to evolve toward more spicy, flavorful experiences,” Guzman said. "At the same time, there will be demand for more convenience, and better-for-you options such as reduced sodium and reduced-fat items. We will continue to dream up products to meet the needs of our fans in all of these areas.”

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