Lay's, Baken-Ets, Cheetos, Chester's, Cracker Jack, Doritos, El Isleno, Funyuns, Fritos, Maui Style, Miss Vickie's, Munchies, Munchos, Ruffles, Sabritones, Santitas, Simply, Smartfood, Sunchips, Stacy's, Tostitos Address: PO Box 660634, Dallas, Texas 75266-0634, USA
Phone: 1 800 352 4477
Website: www.fritolay.com, www.cheetos.com, www.doritos.com, www.lays.com, www.ruffles.com, www.simplyfritolay.com, www.tostitos.com
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Lay's Potato Chips
1931: Herman Lay sold Potato Chips in the southern United States out of his car.
1932: Lay began his own Potato Chip company in Nashville, Tennessee.
1934: Lay hired his first salesman
1937: By this time Lay had 25 employees and a much larger manufacturing facility where he produced popcorn and peanut butter sandwich crackers.
1938: Lay purchased his former employer, the Barrett Food Company’s Atlanta and Memphis plants for $60,000. The Barrett Company would hold half the company in preferred stock, Lay borrowed his share from the bank.
1939: The H.W. Lay & Company was formed, although the Chips were still manufactured under the Gardner trademark of Barrett Food Products.
1944: With further Barrett plants purchased, the product name was changed to Lay's Potato Chips.
1945: The company begun a long and close working relationship with The Frito Company by taking on an exclusive partnership to distribute in the South East.
1956: After continued expansion, including the purchase of The Richmond Potato Chip Company and the Capitol Frito Corporation, Lay’s Potato Chips had more than 1,000 employees, plants in 8 cities and branches or warehouses in 13 others. This qualified H.W. Lay & Company to be the largest manufacturer of Potato Chips and snack foods in the United States.
1961: After many years of working closely together, The Frito Company and H.W. Lay & Company merged to become Frito-Lay, Inc.
1965: Frito-Lay, Inc., merged with the Pepsi-Cola Company, to become PepsiCo, Inc. The Frito-Lay part of the company began operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of PepsiCo.
1966: Doritos were launched. They would go on to become the company's second best selling product line.
1969: Funyuns were launched.
1971: Munchos were launched.
1978: Frito-Lay's product development team launched Tostitos, a Mexican-style tortilla chip range. Within two years sales of $140 million made it one the most successful product launches in the company’s history.
1989: After a decade of continued product development, company growth, increased product sales, and expansion into new markets sales outside of the US and Canada contributed $500 million to a total sales figure of $3.5 billion.
1990: PepsiCo, Inc. acquired the UK's biggest Potato Crisps company, Walkers Crisps and Smith Foods from BSN (later Danone) for $1.35 billion.
1991: Multi-grain snack Sun Chips was introduced, along with a number of other products aimed at a healthier snack marketing strategy.
1994: Frito-Lay recorded annual retail sales of nearly $5 billion.
1998: The international arm of the company continued its acquisitions, mergers and and joint ventures program, including Smith's Snackfood Company (Australia), and Savoy Brands (Latin America). This would continue to today.
2010: Frito-Lay re-worked its Lay's Kettle and Lay's flavored Chips, along with around half the company’s full range of recipes. They were now made with all-natural ingredients.
Lay's Lightly Salted Potato Chips
A Nose Plunge Test revealed nothing but air. Interestingly, these are the only slightly salted chips I have reviewed thus far that featured a sugar number. It is less than one gram per bag, but it was still there. I crave flavour and feel that a potato is nice enough tasting on its own. These tasted of oily potato.
Lay's Simply Salted Potato Chips
Despite maintaining their 'All Natural' production, Lay's appear to have replaced the 'Natural' from the various packaging designs up to this point, and have invested in the replacement word ‘Simply.’ Goodness only knows what the thinking behind that is - There must be all sorts of employees in the PepsiCo. empire making up things to do to keep their jobs. Anyway, they are still 'All Natural' which of course means absolutely nothing to the nutrition label, that still says in unwritten words that an all-natural baked potato would be far healthier. The flavour is of course, not very salty, not as oily as the Original variety, but still in essence, fried potato slices.
Lay's Cheddar & Sour Cream Potato Chips
It often seems that sour cream flavouring is added to dampen down or add a creamy taste to a naturally strong flavour. This is a familiar chip variety to US manufacturers, so as a standard-bearer for the industry you would expect Lay's to get this right. Indeed, they should set a standard that others can follow or attempt to better. Each chip option will no doubt have its own business plan, so Lay's will provide a mass appeal chip without stand-out flavours. While they have succeeded with that aim here, these were still full of flavour, medium strength cheesy chips.
Lay's Limon Potato Chips
These chips were introduced and aimed at the American Hispanic community. Hence the use of the word ‘Limon’ instead of lime. Yes, lime - A sharp citrus fruit mixed with oily potato. It is not my job to say whether they were nice - It is to assess whether the flavour operates as it should. And it does. The lime taste mixed with the potato to provide an unfamiliar flavouring. It was not so strong as to overwhelm the potato slice, but it was sufficient for those that do not like them to notice.
Lay's Classic Potato Chips
A Nose Plunge Test revealed nothing. Not even oily potato. The flavour, if you need it describing to you, is not revolutionary - It tastes of salty, oily potato. With that out of the way, I should add, these chips have stood the test of time. They are the world's best selling variety and there is a good reason for that. Lay's are the world's biggest company, a company built on this flavour of chip. Sure, the recipe would have changed over the years, but the classic bag is one of the world's most identifiable food products because customers keep going back for more, in their millions.
Lay's Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a mild onion aroma. In any flavour combination, you hope that there is a balance between ingredients. With these there was an uneven balance between four ingredients: Salt, potato, sour cream (or something creamy), and onion - it just didn't work for me, which was a great disappointment because I had high hopes.
Lay's Honey Barbecue Potato Chips
A Nose Plunge Test provided a welcome barbecue sauce aroma. This is a slight variation on a Lay's American classic chip flavour, so it only needs to veer slightly away from the original barbecue variety to offer up an alternative. The sweet, tangy, and mildly barbecue taste that is a feature of the original was all there, but maybe it was slightly sweeter. I experienced no easily identifiable honey encounter.
Lay's Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips
Salt and vinegar chips were invented in the 1950s and were quickly adopted by Walkers Crisps in the UK. The flavour became the second most popular variety in the country and retains that status (behind cheese and onion). As PepsiCo now owns Walkers you would have thought their great chips science folk would have got together to use whichever seasoning concoction nailed it best. For some reason, Lay's still use their slightly too vinegary, but very mild and inoffensive recipe. You really would hope this is because of research into their American custom base, rather than maintaining a profit profile based on the historical performance of their existing variety, because this was not nearly as good as it should have been.
Lay's Flamin' Hot Potato Chips
Some of Lay’s chips are pretty basic and bland while delivering the necessary flavours in a somewhat muted fashion. Their Flamin' Hot Chip was surprising. With Blair's Death Rain setting the standard for all hot chips in the USA, would Lay's offer up a chip that would only appeal to a small section of their potential market? Remarkably, yes. Not Blair's hot, but hot enough to say Lay's got a little brave with a niche product.
Lay's Sweet Southern Heat Barbecue
This is much the same chip as Lay's standard barbecue, so this is much the same write-up, but with a curious ending. A Nose Plunge Test revealed a somewhat sweet smoky aroma. The sugary, tangy and mildly peppery barbecue flavour sets a taste standard but the curious ending for this chip came in the shape of an after-burn. It tasted much the same as the regular barbecue chip from Lay's but there was a certain level of hot after-taste that would ensure I bought these ahead of the regular barbecue every time.
Lay's Dill Pickle Potato Chips
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a sparse pickle aroma. The most interesting aspect of these chips was that even if you don't like dill pickle, you might still like these because they were very mild, not too vinegary, but still unmistakable dill pickle tasting.
Lay's Barbecue Potato Chips
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a sweet smoky aroma. As an all-time American classic chip, it has a right to set a standard that others can follow or attempt to better. If you consider that Lay's have sales targets to meet and beat, they have to make a universally pleasing chip, so it won't have stand-out flavours or heat. The chips, therefore, lacked uniqueness and character. The variety was disappointingly bland.
Lay's Chile Limon Potato Chips
A Nose Plunge Test revealed very little. There may have been a sort of tomato smell, but I may have just been hunting for something. Lay's will need to meet targets for the less standard flavoured chips in their domestic market, but this variety is marketed vigorously under different branding in their overseas territories, some of which enjoy spicier food such as India and Mexico. So, are they hot enough? Again, Lay's are very clever in this area. There was a sweet tomato peppery tang, which combined equally with a tart citrus flavour. As a combo it battled well, and as a flavour it worked hard to replace heat with a variety of ingredients.
Lay’s Do Us A Flavor
An interesting flavour that was a little surprising. Mostly because a chips company hasn’t experimented with the flavour before. Not so much cappuccino, but coffee, anyway. These did taste of coffee, but the aftertaste drifted towards potato. There is no doubt though, these tasted of bitter coffee. Apologies for repeating myself, but these tasted of flavoursome roasted coffee.
Lay’s Korean Barbecue Potato Chips
I grabbed two flavours from these chips. There was a beef stock base flavouring that would lead towards steak. There were also mild spices, most notably ginger. Not a particularly impressive flavour and a particularly vague bag description.
Lay’s Bacon Mac & Cheese
First off the ‘Mac.’ No. Nothing. It was just the cheesy taste that you get with mac and cheese. There was also bacon present, but this was a mild taste. It’s a shame that chips don’t feature smoked bacon more often – It is just so much more striking in flavour. Overall, the taste was pleasant but somewhat mild and ineffective.
Lay’s Passport to Flavor
These 2016 Olympics special edition chips promoted chimichurri coated beef steak. Instead, they provided a slightly salty and oily beef stock. It was a very fancy name for a beef tasting chip.
Lay's Passport to Flavor Chinese Szechuan Chicken
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a Chinese sauce, perhaps with a soy aroma. A little sweet, a little sour, maybe a touch of spice. It was hard to pin down Szechuan as a flavour because it is a style rather than a specific seasoning, certainly for chips anyway. Although tasty, it was hard to pin down any flavours.
Lay's Passport to Flavor Wavy Greek Tzatziki
Of all the four flavours in this line, why would they make a dipping crinkle cut chip for the one with the dip already included in the flavour? There was a mild flavouring to these which was a little underwhelming. I could also taste the dill. This added some confusion to the creamy backdrop. Unsurprisingly, given how popular it is in the US, there was a nearer reflection to sour cream and onion than tzatziki.