2 Years to Redesign Lay’s New Chip Bag


2 years to redesign a freakin’ bag?

A 1st year graphics design student coulda cranked out a new design during his afternoon class!

source: Adweek

Eighty-seven years ago, a Nashville entrepreneur named Herman Lay began selling chips out of the trunk of his Ford Model A. Things were relatively simple back then. Until Lay began popularizing his salty snacks around the Southeast, potato chips were a delicacy confined to the precincts around Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where (as the most credible story goes) a cook named Katie Speck Wicks accidentally dropped a peeled potato into the hot oil she was using to fry crullers. In any case, Lay’s chips sold themselves back in those days. The packaging wasn’t terribly important.

Nothing could be further from the truth now, of course. While Lay’s is still the category leader in chips—per IRI, it claims a 75.9% market share—there are by one count upwards of 40 companies making chips in America plus untold numbers of regional brands. (Search for “potato chips” on Amazon, and you’ll get 592 results.) Globally, potato chips are a $29 billion industry, according to Imarc Group, and it’s expected to hit $35 billion in five years.

Which is to say that even a famous bag of chips like Lay’s needs to stand out to stay relevant. And that marketing maxim probably explains why the design team at Lay’s has spent the past two years working on a new design for its potato chip bags—a look that will begin its national rollout next week.

Why should it take two years to redo a chip bag? Well, in practice, Lay’s, a division of PepsiCo’s snack colossus Frito-Lay, actually has to redo scores of chip bags, since it sells over 25 flavors and has variants—reduced fat, less sodium—for each. What’s more, the range of flavors is broad, from its Classic salted chips to something called Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup. And each flavor boasts a set of existing fans with their own familiarities and expectations.

“It’s going to take some time to get that right.”

Sadira Furlow 
Lay’s VP of Marketing

W Why It Took Lay’s 2 Years to Redesign a Bag of Potato Chips

Calamity Jane