Lay’s chips are by far one of the most iconic snack foods in America and the rest of the world. There is no snack chip sold today that is more famous than those produced by Lay’s. It wouldn’t be too surprising if you snacked on a Lay’s product within the past week. There are many things about the company behind Lay’s that you know little about. These surprising facts may make your jaw drop. That’s why we highly suggest that you keep the munching for after you’re done reading. The last thing anyone wants to do is lose a precious chip due to being startled.
10. In 1932 Lay’s chips were sold out of the back of a car
Where do you buy your favorite flavors of Lay’s chips? Did you answer convenience store or grocery store? If so, then you don’t share something in common with the first customers of Lay’s chips. Did you know the first customers bought their fix of Lay’s from the back of a car? There aren’t many people in today’s world who would buy chips from anyone selling them from their vehicle. That wasn’t the case in 1932 when Herman W. Lay sold his chips in Nashville, Tennesse. Customers were more than happy to flock to the back of his car to get the crunch they couldn’t resist. The fact that Herman was able to sell his chips like hotcakes during the Great Depression says something about his product. This was a time when businesses were going under, and people were flat broke. The success leads him to buy the Barrett Food Company and change its name to the H.W. Lay Lingo & Company. What more can be said about a product that people were buying it when they had no money for anything else. And you thought you were addicted to chips. It goes to show that even in the worst economic conditions, you can’t eat just one.
9. Lay’s and Fritos merged to become Frito-Lay
Have you ever looked at a bag of your favorite chips and wondered what the Frito-Lay thing was all about? After all, you Lay’s potato chips and Fritos corn chips are different products entirely. Well, there’s a long story behind this merger and we’ll condense it here. Before Frito-Lay merged into one company, they sold each other’s products. Lay’s sold Fritos products in the southwest region of the U.S while Fritos sold Lay’s products in the southeast U.S. They did so to help each company move their product lines. Their products were different enough where they weren’t competing with each other. Plus, the added revenue from selling the other company’s products helped their bottom line. It wasn’t until 1961 that the two companies merged and became Frito-Lay. It seemed like a good idea since each company was so intertwined with each other. Time has proven that the merge was a good idea and now their products are sold worldwide. What started as a means of companies helping each other turned out to be one of the most important partnerships in the world of snacks. The most shocking thing from the merger is that Pepsi was also added to the mix. What goes better with Lay’s than an ice cold Pepsi? Nothing does and that’s why this was a marriage made in snack heaven.
8. A surprising number of potatoes are in each bag
How many spuds do you think it takes to make a bag of potato chips? Would you be surprised to learn that each bag has four to five medium size potatoes in it? It may be surprising considering that a bag of chips doesn’t seem to weigh all that much. Most of the weight of a potato is water. The cooking process removes much of the water to leave behind the crispy product we all know and love. Lay’s works with farmers all over the world to produce their potatoes. As you can imagine, they’re in constant need of a supply of spuds. There isn’t a time of year when you can’t find their potato chips on the shelves. This fact alone ensures that farmers will have plenty of work to do raising potatoes. The next time you crunch into your favorite flavor pay homage to the farmers who made it possible.
7. In the beginning, there were only two flavors
Think back for a minute to the last time you were at the supermarket buying chips. How many varieties of Lay’s did you see? You saw far more than it’s possible to count. Today, we have what seems like an endless variety of chips to choose from. That wasn’t always the case. There was only one flavor of Lay’s chips until 1965. That’s when they introduced Barbecue. It wouldn’t be until later that Sour Cream and Onion would be released. Can you imagine a world where there are only two flavors of Lay’s? Just the thought alone has to bring a tear to your eye. The reasoning behind this may not be what most people would believe. It’s very difficult for seasonings to be put on potato chips. This is the reason why many local small-time potato chip manufacturers only plain salty chips. The technology at the time was extremely advanced even for a company as large as Frito-Lay. This is still true to this day, but the good folks at Frito-Lay have it down pat. It may be hard for some to imagine walking into a store and only seeing one flavor of Lay’s. It was that way for quite some time until Barbecue came about. It wouldn’t be until much later that the flavors we all know and love existed.
6. Lay’s has regional variations to their flavors
It should come as no surprise that people in different parts of America prefer different flavors. Anyone who has traveled around the country knows that the food isn’t the same across the board. Lay’s is the type of company that pays close attention to regional tastes and does their best to cater to them. It’s great marketing and whoever decided to go this route is a genius. One of the greatest things about traveling is that you get to taste the area in which your visiting. You can do just that with regional Lay’s varieties that will make you want to book another trip. The New York Reuben tastes surprisingly like the famous sandwich. Cajun Spice is a favorite amongst those who live near the gulf. Lobster Roll is a favorite Lay’s variety that’s sold in New England. Don’t be surprised if they come up with even more regional flavors. It’s a great way to connect with the customers of an area and give them something they’re familiar with. It is a shame though that these flavors aren’t available all over the country. There’s no doubt plenty of you who wish you could put a few Cajun Spice chips on a plate along with a sandwich.
5. Today over 50 flavors are being produced in the USA
Lay’s has a flavor for everyone out there. It doesn’t matter if you’re a boring person who just likes the Classic or if you’re someone who likes things Flamin’ Hot. Who knows, you may be the type who likes Dill Pickle flavored chips. The variety is why many people keep coming back to Lay’s. You know for a fact no matter how wild some of the flavors are, Lay’s is a company who can deliver a quality product. They’ve got the best food scientists who can come up with unique flavors as you’ve never heard of. A flavor like Honey Barbecue may not seem so out of the ordinary. Though, Pico De Gallo may be. Lay’s is paying attention to the taste buds of Americans and understands how they’ve changed over the years. There are many more spicy and Mexican inspired flavors than there were in the past. It could also be said that they’re focusing on flavors that may not have the broadest appeal. No one understands like Lay’s how important it is to cast a big net if you want to reel in as many customers as possible. This number is undoubtedly going to change in the years to come. Sometimes a flavor gets pulled and put on the back shelf. When that happens, people these days go to the internet to complain. No one likes to have their favorites disappear. Tastes change over time, and it’s bound to happen. Sometimes flavors such as Taco Doritos make a comeback, and everyone is happy. Don’t lose all hope if your favorite flavor ends up disappearing from the shelf. Who knows, maybe someday it’ll come back with a vengeance.
4. Lay’s are sold under different brand names around the world
You may be eating a Lay’s product without even knowing it. If you live in the United Kingdom, then you might be eating Walker’s brand chips. Those in Australia know them as Smith’s. If you’re Mexico than it’s Sabritas for you. Those in Egypt are familiar with a snack called Chispy. They may have different named but they are owned by the company that makes Lay’s. If you’re a world traveler, then it’s not surprising to you that Lay’s products are sold in almost 80 countries. People all over the globe are enjoying the same products that you know and love. Most of the times, they’re being sold under the Lay’s brand. That’s not always the case as stated above. The stories behind each of the brands are as unique as the one of Lay’s. While the brands may have different names, you can rest assured that they all share the same attention to quality that Lay’s are known for. Lay’s is one of the few brands that deliver a consistent product regardless of where you are in the world. There can be no other reason why they’ve grown in popularity and have become a force to reckon with around the globe.
3. Some flavors exist only in certain countries
You can travel all over the world and munch on Lay’s products. That doesn’t mean you’ll have access to all the flavors that you know and love. You may be surprised to find out that your favorites aren’t on the shelves in supermarkets in certain countries. The only thing you can guarantee is that the Classic version of Lay’s is sold. No matter where you are, the plain salt version seems to be popular. Though, don’t be surprised if you find some flavors that are only on the shelf in some countries. Have you ever wanted to try a bacon-flavored chip? If so, you can find them in Russia. The chip itself tastes less like bacon that Americans know and more like ham. You will also find crab flavored chips in Russia. If you’re looking for oddities, there’s still more to come. Go to Canada and try yourself some ketchup flavored chips. You may be shocked to discover that there are blueberry flavored Lay’s in China. The one thing you wouldn’t find shocking is the fact that some of the flavors might be strange, they’re still the high-quality chips you know and love. Consistency is a huge part of the success Lay’s has had in America and abroad.
2. Earn a cool million dollars for a new flavor
Everyone out there has at some point thought they could come up with a winning flavor of potato chips. Lay’s has now given a few lucky people the opportunity to have their own flavor. You may have heard of the popular Do Us A Flavor campaign. It’s where Lay’s asks the public what flavor of chips they’d like to have. The person who comes up with the winning flavor gets a whopping million dollars. That’s not an amount of money to sneeze at. Just imagine for a second how many bags of chips you could buy with a million dollars. What do you have to do to compete in the Do Us A Flavor contest? You need to come up with unique flavor ideas that the company finds interesting. Past winners were Cheesy Garlic Bread, Wasabi and Ginger, and Southern Biscuits and Gravy. If you’re going to suggest a flavor, it’s best to be off the wall. You may even try to come up with a few that are so crazy no one would believe it. You never know, that may just be what Lay’s are looking for. It takes thinking outside of the box to be able to compete in this contest. The good news is, the public still tries all of the flavors that don’t win. Every year there are a handful of flavors that are sure to make you do a double take while at the grocery store.
1. The first snack television commercial was for Lay’s chips
What would television be without advertisements for snacks? How else would we know which new flavors to run out and buy? It’s hard to believe that there was once a time without advertisements for our favorite snacks. It took a surprising amount of time for Lay’s and other potato chip companies to advertise on television. The reason for that is anyone’s guess, but it had to be a pure delight for anyone seeing their favorite brand being advertised on television. Everyone needs a reminder when watching TV if they aren’t crunching on Lay’s to go out and get some. Television time is the perfect time to eat a fantastic snack such as potato chips. Are you a fan of the Wizard of Oz? If so, then you already know who Bert Lahr is. He was the guy who played the Cowardly Lion. He was also in the very first television commercial for Lay’s. The commercial first aired in 1966 and it launched a revolution in advertising in the world of snack foods. Television wasn’t a new medium, but advertising chips on it was. Some of that may have had to do with the fact that up until then there weren’t any companies that could compete with Lay’s on a national scale. This was a time when they didn’t have the widespread competition that they have today. Lay’s decided to squash any local competition by going national with their advertising in an attempt to dominate the industry even more.