Lay’s Chips Spotlights Potato Farmers

Marking the second phase of its repositioning strategy that started earlier this year, Lay’s Potato Chips launched a nationwide marketing campaign celebrating the power of the people and communities producing its line of chips.

The “Lay’s Local” marketing campaign puts a spotlight on potato farmers from California, Florida, Maine, Michigan and Texas, who grow potatoes used in Lay’s Potato Chips 30-second national and regional television spots.

The farmers featured in the ads, which launch May 18, joined the Lay’s Potato Chips brand team to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday.

In addition to the television spots, the “Lay’s Local” campaign will be supported by a comprehensive marketing effort that celebrates the local connections of the brand through national print advertising, on-pack messaging and 40,000 in-store displays customized for each participating state. The brand also will participate in more than 50 local-market events throughout the country, celebrating the local communities that play a role in making Lay’s Potato Chips, ranging from the Maine Potato Blossom Festival and the Hall of Fame Parade in Canton, Ohio, to the Utah Pioneer Days.

“While Lay’s Potato Chips have been one of the most popular snacks since they were introduced, what people might not realize is how many communities across the country play a role in the creation of America’s favorite potato chip,” said Dave Skena, vice president of potato chip marketing, Frito-Lay North America. “The truth is we are closer to home than people might expect and we felt it was only fitting to put the spotlight on these people and communities and celebrate the contributions they’ve made to the Lay’s brand.”

More than 80 farms from 27 states across the country grow the potatoes that become Lay’s potato chips. In fact, in 2008 alone, the brand used more than 2 billion pounds of potatoes from these farmers. Lay’s Potato Chips are made in 18 states at Frito-Lay facilities. The company employs more than 40,000 people in all 50 states.

The Lay’s brand began a repositioning in early 2009 when it introduced a new theme line, “Happiness is Simple,” designed to celebrate the brand, its place in Americana and its role in bringing people together for life’s simple pleasures. The campaign highlighted the simplicity of Lay’s Classic Potato Chips in a day and age where consumers are looking to keep things less complex.

“People have an interest in knowing where their products are made and share a sense of pride knowing the role they play in a success story like Lay’s Potato Chips,” Skena added. “And our hope is that this campaign helps put a spotlight on these communities and demonstrates the appreciation we have for their contributions.”

Frito-Lay North America is the $12 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo, which is headquartered in Purchase, N.Y. In addition to Frito-Lay, PepsiCo business units include Pepsi-Cola, Quaker Foods, Gatorade and Tropicana.