Frito-Lay Going All Natural

December 29, 2010

Frito Lay – the World’s largest maker of snack foods is going natural – sort of.

More than six dozen varieties of Frito-Lay products will be made with all natural ingredients including all flavors of Lay’s® potato chips, Tostitos® tortilla chips, SunChips® multigrain snacks, Baked! snacks, and Rold Gold® pretzels by the end of 2011. 

“As the snack food category leader, we have insights that show consumers are seeking a wider range of products made with all natural ingredients. At Frito-Lay North America we want to provide our customers with a broad portfolio of snack options that taste great and are made with real food ingredients,” Ann Mukherjee, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Frito-Lay, said in a statement. 

“Many of the unflavored snacks in our portfolio are already made with all natural ingredients, and we’ve focused on expanding our portfolio of products with all natural ingredients to include more of consumers’ favorite flavored products.”

Frito-Lay’s seasoning professionals and chefs at the Frito-Lay Flavor Kitchenâ“¢ turn culinary inspiration into great tasting snacks like Lay’s regionally-inspired flavors, such as Tangy Carolina BBQ and Garden Tomato & Basil.  The Frito-Lay seasoning professionals created the new seasonings for the products made with all natural ingredients.

But don’t look for major changes anytime soon in artificially flavor-laden Cheetos or Doritos. The company says it just can’t make Cheetos or Doritos without artificial flavors – but in this test kitchen, they’re working on it.

Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, is ridiculing Frito-Lay’s action.

“They’ll get more PR mileage out of this than any real change,” she told Bruce Horovitz at USA TODAY.

“The public health consequences from consuming those foods isn’t related to natural ingredients, but to high fat and high salt.”

On New Year’s Day, Frito-Lay will kick off its largest-ever integrated ad campaign to tout the changes. It will use its own employees in ads to tell the tale. Packaging will be updated with a large burst that touts: “Made With All-Natural Ingredients.”

Brownell worries that confused consumers might misunderstand these changes as “code language” that it’s OK to eat even more chips.

Frito-Lay disagrees.

“It’s meant to say: made with natural ingredients,” Mukherjee says. “It’s not meant to say: eat more.”

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Source: newswire

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