Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, announced yesterday that a new flavor of potato chip would hit the shelves in time for the holidays. The new flavor, ‘Kim & Kanye’, is the first flavor of Lay’s potato chips to be named after actual people. Nooyi says it was important for the company to stay in touch with modern-day culture.
“It was something we wanted to touch on, we knew we wanted to begin naming flavors after celebrities, but didn’t know which ones. We decided on Kim & Kanye, obviously referring to Kim Kardashian-West and Kanye West, because they are celebrities that all Americans love, and together they have a very unique flavor,” said Nooyi.
Lay’s set the standard for being the first potato chip company to introduce a flavor other than the traditional salted, original flavor, in 1958 when they introduced barbecue flavored potato chips. The company has since led the way in offering more and more variety of flavors in recent years with a campaign called “Do Us A Flavor,” in which contestants invent a flavor themselves. The 2012-2013 contest consisted of sriracha, chicken and waffles, and cheesy garlic bread flavors, with cheesy and garlic bread earning its way into the permenant line up according to sales.
The ‘Kim & Kanye’ flavor is a finalist from the 2014-2015 contest developed by self-proclaimed chef Tanya Brown. When asked what her key ingredients were to this bizarre name of chip, she simply said, “A little bit of this, a little bit of that. A lot like what you could imagine Kim and Kanye tasting like if they were a potato chip.”
Other flavors in the finals, which are currently available for purchase, include bacon mac and cheese, cappuccino, wavy mango salsa, and kettle cooked wasabi ginger. Although the Kim and Kanye chip was submitted during the contest, Lay’s representatives decided that it would be a stand-alone flavor, and they would use it outside of the normal contest regulations.
“They told me the idea of the actual flavor being a bit of a mystery was intriguing to them,” said Brown. “I could not believe they agreed to stick with the name, and they actually told me it was something they had considered doing for quite some time. So they kind of pulled the idea away from the contest. Sad I can’t win, but the chips are still going to market, and that’s awesome.”
Some of those who have had samples of the new flavor say the chips have a unique taste. “It tastes to me like a combination of chocolate and butter pecan ice cream, and is strangely very good!” said John Osbourne of Brooklyn, New York. Others say that the chip is horrendous, and they can’t believe it’s even going to market.
“It tastes like straight up body sweat and lard, with a hint of tangy mint and…I’m not sure. Walnuts, maybe?” said Robin Waverly of Los Angeles. “It’s really hard to pin down. Whatever it’s supposed to be, they were really pretentious tasting, which I suppose what I’d expect Kim or Kanye to taste like. Then again, I rarely think that these contest chips taste like what they’re supposed to. So maybe it’s just me.”
The Kim & Kanye flavored Lay’s potato chips will be available at grocery stores one week before the Thanksgiving holiday says Nooyi.