Snacks & Candy

Frito-Lay Rolls Out Lower-Sodium Snacks

Fritos, Ruffles join Lay's "Lightly Salted" varieties

PLANO, Texas -- PepsiCo's Frito-Lay North America business unit has announced the introduction of two new "Lightly Salted" varieties of chips. Fritos Lightly Salted corn chips and Ruffles Lightly Salted potato chips join Lay's Lightly Salted potato chips, which were launched in 2000 in select markets but expanded to national distribution beginning in 2010. With at least 50% less sodium per one ounce serving than their original counterparts, Lightly Salted varieties provide consumers concerned about sodium with lower sodium options.

"The No. 1 request from consumers is [image-nocss] for lower-sodium versions of the snacks they love most; however, they are unwilling to compromise on taste," said Ann Mukherjee, chief marketing officer for Frito-Lay North America, Plano, Texas. "Lightly Salted meets that consumer need. We will continue to build on this effort and look to deliver even more great-tasting options for those consumers focused on sodium."

In general, Frito-Lay snack chips are moderate in sodium, the company said. For instance, Lay's Classic potato chips contain 180 mg per one-ounce serving--about 15 chipswhich is comparable to a slice of bread.

"Many consumers believe Frito-Lay snack chips are high in sodium, but they are often surprised to learn that is not the case," said Mike Zbuchalski, group vice president, R&D, Frito-Lay North America. "Because the salt is sprinkled on the outside of the snack chip, the salt flavor is prominent compared to foods where the salt is cooked within."

According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report released earlier this month, Americans aged 2 or older consume on average 3,436 mg of sodium per day, more than double the Advisory Committee's recommendation of less than 1,500 mg (about 2/3 tsp of table salt).

"Since many foods have sodium baked in, you can't always trust your taste buds. That's why it's so important for consumers to read the nutrition labelthey'll be surprised to learn the various sources of sodium in their diet," said Joanne "Dr. Jo" Lichten, PhD, RD, author of Dr. Jo's No Big Deal Diet.

Lightly Salted products are available nationally in grocery, retail and mass merchandise. Lay's Lightly Salted and Ruffles Lightly Salted potato chips are priced at $3.99 per 10-oz. and 10.5-oz. bags respectively. Fritos Lightly Salted corn chips are priced at $2.99 for 9.25-oz. bags.

Frito-Lay has a longstanding commitment to health and wellness. In the mid 80s, the company launched Reduced Fat Ruffles potato chips. In the early 90s, it introduced Baked! Lay's potato crisps and Baked! Tostitos tortilla chips. Frito-Lay led the industry with its response to trans fats, when, in 2003, it eliminated trans fats from its entire snack chip portfolio by converting Cheetos, Doritos, and Tostitos to corn oil. In addition, the company listed trans fat on the nutritional panel of its snack chips more than two years in advance of the 2006 Food & Drug Administration mandate. Frito-Lay's core snack chip portfolio uses healthier oils that have lower amounts of saturated fat and higher amounts of the "good" monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats than other oils and 0 grams of trans fat per serving. Earlier in 2010, Frito-Lay launched regional flavors of Lay's potato chips made with all natural ingredients and an average of 25% less sodium than other flavored Lay's potato chips.

Frito-Lay North America is the $13 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo, Purchase, NY. PepsiCo's main businesses include Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade.

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