Daily Ticker

‘Do Us a Flavor’: Lay’s Launches $1 Million Chip Flavor Contest

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Lay's potato chips is calling on all Americans to help create its next chip flavor in celebration of its 75th anniversary next year.

And there's more.

The creator of the winning chip will win a whopping $1 million dollars or 1% of the chip's 2013 net sales (whichever turns out to be more) from PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division. The two runners up will win $50,000 in prize money.

To kick-start the "Do Us a Flavor" contest, Lay's built its first-ever Lay's brand flavor popup store in the middle of New York's Time Square. The Daily Ticker was on site to interview the chief marketing officer of Frito-Lay North America, Anindita Mukherjee, about the $13 billion brand's largest marketing campaign to date.

"Today consumers want to have their voices heard," she said. "They want to have their hand in where a brand goes, what a flavor is for a brand, what direction it goes, they want to have a say."

Lay's, the world's largest food brand, is also teaming up with Facebook to help with the submission process. Facebook has changed the "Like" button to "I'd Eat That" exclusively for this contest to encourage more friend interactions and "flavor showdowns" among the contestants.

The "Do Us a Flavor" contest is a first in the United States but has already been a hit across the globe in more than 14 countries, resulting in a number of really wacky chip flavors including: Chilli & Chocolate, Caesar Salad, Late Night Kebob and even Cajun Squirrel. These contests have generated more than 8 million chip flavor ideas globally.

To generate excitement for the U.S. contest, Lay's has hired actress and restaurateur Eva Longoria and Iron Chef Michael Symon. Along with other food experts, the pair will help narrow down the submissions to three finalists.

After the judges chose the winning submission, Lay's will have a trove of data on what chip flavors are favored by the majority of Americans.

"To me, the best part about the contest is that you don't have to be a foodie, chef or flavor expert to enter," said Eva Longoria in a press release. "You just have to trust your taste buds. If you're passionate about a flavor, likely there are others who agree."

Submissions can be made on Lay's Facebook page through October 6, 2012. Interested applicants will be asked to provide their name, flavor name, up to three possible ingredients and a 140-character description or inspiration for their flavor.