According to Jennifer Saenz, vice president of marketing and innovation at Frito-Lay, the top flavor trends for 2016 will focus on spices, cheese, and herbs:
- Spices from all around the world continue to grow in popularity in American dishes and flavors. Heading into 2016, these exotic flavors will stem from Indian and Japanese influences.
- American staples will get an extra notch of flavor through the rising popularity of specialty cheeses like gouda and gorgonzola.
- The big twist on herbs next year will be using floral flavors, such as hibiscus, elderflower and lavender.
The "Flavor Swap"
Americans can help shape the new Lay's potato chips portfolio with the new "Flavor Swap" program, which asks chip lovers to vote for four classic flavors or four new chip flavors.
Beginning February 8, fans can vote for their favorite flavor in each of the four "Flavor Swap" pairings, and enter a $1,000 daily give away. One lucky fan will win a $250,000 cash prize for simply placing his or her vote.
Consumers looking to cast their votes and enter for a chance to win can visit FlavorSwap.com to select their favorite flavor in each of the four categories.
Here are the four flavor pairs:
Heat Flavor Swap:
Lay's Flamin' Hot vs. all-new Lay's Fiery Roasted Habanero
Cheese Flavor Swap:
Lay's Cheddar & Sour Cream vs. all-new Lay's Smoked Gouda & Chive
Barbecue Flavor Swap:
Lay's Honey Barbecue vs. all-new Lay's Korean Barbecue
Spice Flavor Swap:
Lay's Kettle Cooked Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper vs. all-new Lay's Kettle Cooked Olive Oil & Herbs
Ram Krishnan, chief marketing officer, Frito-Lay:
"Over the last three years, the iconic Lay's 'Do Us a Flavor' contest asked fans to submit their ideas for the next great potato chip flavor. Past winning flavors, including Lay's Cheesy Garlic Bread, Lay's Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger, and Lay's Southern Biscuits and Gravy prove that Americans are on the hunt for unexpected and unique flavors."
"While 'Do Us a Flavor' spotlighted fans who wanted to create the next great potato chip flavor, 'Flavor Swap' celebrates fans who simply enjoy flavor and want to have a say."
Have Taste Buds, Will Travel
As fans around the country wait for the flavors to roll out nationwide, actress Anna Faris was among the first to try the four "Flavor Swap" pairings. Additionally, flavor enthusiasts in New York participated in an immersive experience with each "Flavor Swap" pairing brought to life in a dual-themed room – one side representing the classic flavor, and the new flavor on the other. Each room was decked out with sensory cues and inspired dishes that eventually revealed the flavor behind it.
"I'm a big fan of classic flavors, but I'm also an adventurous eater and always up for trying the new and unexpected," said Faris. "'Flavor Swap' puts the two head to head and it's up to us – and our taste buds – to make some tough – albeit delicious -- decisions. I'm excited to see what America decides too."
Fans can find all eight flavors in retail stores nationwide when voting opens February 8. Voting ends March 21.