Gourmet is the flavor of the season for Lay’s chips


Potato chip brand Lay’s has just launched ‘Lay’s Gourmet’, a range of slow cooked premium crisps. Aimed at those looking for a more subtle taste experience, Lay’s Gourmet is available in three flavors – Lime & Roasted Pepper, Thai Sweet Chili and Vintage Cheese & Paprika.

Shailja Joshi, Marketing Director, Potato Chips Category, PepsiCo India! that the brand’s drive to market Lay’s Gourmet began with understanding their consumers. Lay’s research indicated that Indian consumers are evolving and willing to try more premium products across the macro snack and food categories.

“Our research also showed that premium chips also performed well globally. Lay’s Gourmet is a global product and exists in many markets. So, it is clear that India could look up to this product as well,” adds Joshi.

For PepsiCo, the Lay’s Gourmet line is a premium launch in terms of how the brand wants its consumers to perceive the product and its price point. The packaging and visual identity of the new range were also initially tested with consumers.

It is interesting to note that Indian tastes are very similar to their global counterparts. For example, Lime & Black Pepper, which is available in global markets, has become Lime & Cracked Pepper in India. Similarly, Vintage Cheddar & Caramelised Onion became Vintage Cheese & Paprika and Thai Chilli & Lime became Thai Sweet Chilli.

However, he also mentions, “Indian tastes may not be completely different because as a global entity, we delve into our global expertise. And Lay’s stands for its international flavours. The minor changes are because the product has been redefined to keep in mind the preference of Indian consumers.”

Lay’s Gourmet will compete with Win greens’ Naan Chips (butter garlic, chatpata pudding flavour), Pringles (sour cream and onion, cheddar cheese, grill) and other premium start-up snack brands like BRB Popped Potato Chips, Hunter’s Gourmet, etc.

Talking about the pricing strategy, Joshi mentions that the premium range is defined by many parameters and one of them is price. “Today, the overall chip category or even the packaged food category is driven by the Rs 5 or Rs 10 price tag. In this category, launching something that starts at just Rs 30 is premium enough for the consumer we’re targeting because it’s three price points higher.”

While the brand has defined TG for its new launch in a certain demographic, Joshi believes most of the brand’s consumers should evolve to Lay’s Gourmet on special occasions.

When it comes to the TVC for Lay’s Gourmet, it is different from regular commercials. The TVC is shot in an international location and brings to life the idea of another gourmet product. The brand will soon release a 360-degree campaign.

Another thing that will be indexed more than regular Lay’s will be that the organized trade channel (modern trade and e-commerce) will basically play a very important role in terms of both sales and visibility.

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