After a submission phase that netted nearly 3.8 million entries, Lay's Potato Chips has unveiled three consumer-inspired flavors and is asking for fan votes to "save" one to keep on store shelves for good. The flavors, Lay's Cheesy Garlic Bread, Lay's Chicken & Waffles and Lay's Sriracha, come in the second phase of Lay's Do Us A Flavor contest on Facebook.
As of Tuesday, the three finalist flavors are available for purchase nationwide. Through May 4, consumers can vote each day for their favorite flavor in three ways: on the tab on Lay's Facebook Page; via Twitter using the hashtag #SaveChickenWaffles, #SaveGarlicBread or #SaveSriracha; or by texting "VOTE" to 24477 (CHIPS).
The winning flavor will be revealed in May. Submissions were accepted July 20 to October 6, 2012.
Finalists were selected by a Lay's team that reviewed entry information, including name, ingredients and inspiration. In the case of duplicate entries, Lay's used the inspiration component of the entry to determine which one got the edge, says Lay's spokesman Chris Kuechenmeister.
Lay's has held dozens of Do Us A Flavor contests worldwide to date. Its first such contest was in the U.K. in 2008. Lay's says the contest has yielded millions of chip flavor suggestions, including Mastana Mango, Walkie Talkie Chicken, Caesar Salad, Chilli & Chocolate, Late Night Kebob and Cajun Squirrel.
This marks the first Do Us A Flavor competition in the U.S.
"Because of America and our culinary interests and flavor interests evolving, in general, we were looking for a robust collection of flavors," Kuechenmeister says. "It being the 75th anniversary of the Lay's brand, it was a great opportunity to celebrate the consumers that have made the brand successful. What better way than to put the selection in their hands and have them be part of the whole process?"
In order to promote the campaign, Lay's, which has 5.9 million likes on Facebook, has updated its cover image to include the message: "Endorse your fave and your msg may appear here!" Kuechenmeister says this is simply a means to encourage engagement and could include posts from anywhere.
While voting data wasn't available, as of Tuesday, a Facebook post announcing the new flavors had 1,600 likes and 455 shares.
Reaction among Facebook fans was mixed on the first day, with some fans longing for flavors that didn't make the cut, like Garlic Fries, Jalapeno Cream Cheese and Jamaican Jerk. (According to Lay's, the most frequent ingredient submissions included: bacon, chicken, potato, garlic and chocolate.)
On Twitter, Lay's held a single-day giveaway promotion on Tuesday in which it asked Twitter users to follow @Lays and use the hashtag #DoUsAFlavor for a chance to win bags of the new chips. As of Tuesday, Lay's had 11,000 followers.
Promotion also included an appearance by the finalists and spokespersons Michael Symon and Eva Longoria at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
The two runner-up finalists will each win $50,000. The grand prize winner will take home $1 million or one percent of the 2013 net sales of the winning flavor, whichever is higher.
Lay's is a brand in PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
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