Lay's Launches 'Do Us a Flavor' Contest

Teams up with Longoria, Symon to invite consumers to create next great potato chip flavor

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PLANO, Texas -- A nationwide search for the next great Lay's potato chip flavor is officially underway. Lay's, one of the marquee brands from PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division, has kicked off its "Do Us a Flavor" contest that invites fans to submit their potato chip flavor ideas for the chance to win $1 million in grand prize money or 1% of their flavor's 2013 net sales (whichever is higher).

From now until October 6, consumers can share their flavor inspirations on the Lay's Facebook page, with the winning flavor being revealed in 2013, the year Lay's celebrates its 75-year anniversary.

To launch the contest, the Lay's brand is creating its first pop-up store in New York City's Times Square, where consumers can sample up to 20 existing Lay's flavors and learn about Lay's potato chip flavors from around the world to inspire their contest submissions.

Actress and restaurateur Eva Longoria and celebrity chef and restaurateur Michael Symon also will be on hand to encourage fans to submit their winning flavor ideas.

"We've created some really great potato chip flavors over the years, but this time around, we're asking our consumers to weigh in and share their ideas for what comes next," said Ram Krishnan, vice president of marketing for Frito-Lay North America, Plano, Texas. "With a mix of traditions, cultures and backgrounds, we know our fans have what it takes to come up with a truly winning flavor that will be a delicious treat for fans all across the country. We can't wait to see what fans come up with and all the creative submissions."

The "Do Us a Flavor" contest has already been held in numerous countries with consumers suggesting more than eight million ideas for chips flavors around the world. From the U.K. and India to Australia and South Africa, the "Do Us a Flavor" contest has resulted in a wide spectrum of popular consumer-created chip flavors, including Mastana Mango, Walkie Talkie Chicken, Caesar Salad, Chilli & Chocolate, Late Night Kebob and even Cajun Squirrel. This marks the first time the "Do Us A Flavor" contest has been held in the United States.

Beyond their involvement in the contest launch, Longoria and Symon also will be part of a judging panel made up of chefs, foodies and flavor experts who will narrow down the contest submissions to three finalist flavors. In addition, the two will appear in national television and online advertising, as well as a retail marketing campaign to support the contest.

Longoria starred on Desperate Housewives and is the owner of Beso eateries in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Symon is the current co-host of the ABC daytime talk show The Chew and appears on the Food Network's Iron Chef America and Cooking Channel's Symon's Suppers. He is also the owner of four restaurants located in America's heartland: Lola, Lolita, Roast and B Spot, as well as the recently opened Bar Symon inside Pittsburgh International Airport.

"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 Longoria. "You just have to trust your taste buds. If you're passionate about a flavor, likely there are others who agree."

"I am constantly impressed with the range of flavor combinations possible in the culinary world, which presents an exciting variety of options for the next great potato chip," said Symon. "I'm confident America has what it takes to create a delicious new potato chip flavor. The tough part will be reviewing the many creative ideas and selecting our top three."

Now through Oct. 6, 2012, fans can submit their flavor suggestions on the Lay's Facebook page or by using their cell phone to text FLAVOR to CHIPS (24477). To submit a suggestion, fans will be asked to provide their flavor name, up to three possible ingredients and a 140-character description or inspiration for their flavor.

Visitors to the Lay's "Do Us a Flavor" page can interact on Facebook and select their favorite flavors by clicking an "I'd Eat That" button (rather than the Facebook Like button), and they can share their voting activity back to the Facebook community, providing consumers with an opportunity to interact with their friends and other contestants in head-to-head "flavor showdowns." In addition, consumers in need of additional inspiration can use Symon's "Flavorizer" app, which scans the individual's Facebook timeline to recommend ingredients most unique to him or her.

Three finalist flavors will be fully developed by Frito-Lay's culinary experts and unveiled in early 2013. Then, it will be up to fans to vote for the finalist flavor they love most with the winning flavor being revealed in May 2013. The two runner-up finalists will each win $50,000 in prize money,

Lay's potato chips is one of the billion-dollar brands that makes up Frito-Lay North America, the $13 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo, based in Purchase, N.Y.

PepsiCo is a global food and beverage leader with net revenues of more than $65 billion and a product portfolio that includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. Its main businesses are Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and Pepsi-Cola.