Frito-Lay goes ‘au naturale’

Approximately half of snack-brand portfolio to be reformulated with all-natural ingredients

PLANO, Texas — Frito-Lay has vowed to reformulate the ingredient mix of about half of its snack products to be completely natural — including three of its biggest brands: Lay's, Tostitos and Sunchips — by the end of 2011, the company announced Tuesday. Once reformulated, the products  will contain only all-natural ingredients, and will include no artificial or synthetic ingredients, no artificial flavors and no preservatives, including MSG. The company maintained that the changes will not impact the products’ flavor.

Other items among the more than six dozen products the company plans to reformulate include Frito-Lay’s Baked snacks and Rold Gold pretzel varieties.

"We have insights that show consumers are seeking a wider range of products made with all-natural ingredients. We want to provide our customers with a broad portfolio of snack options that taste great and are made with real food ingredients," said Ann Mukherjee, SVP and chief marketing officer at Frito-Lay. "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 will roll out the newly reformulated products throughout the course of the year. The new all-natural items will be easily identifiable with a stamp on the package.

To support the initiative, Frito-Lay is undertaking its largest integrated marketing campaign in its history, the company noted. The campaign launches Jan. 1 during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and will include a significant focus on digital and social media to connect with consumers, the company noted.

Frito-Lay plans to take advantage of the rollout and marketing to drive more consumers to Facebook — most ads in the new campaign and product packaging will list the brands’ Facebook pages. "[We are] highlighting our 'seed to shelf' story, which shows the care and pride that goes into every step to make our products, from the real ingredients that we use to the real culinary arts and quality employee experts," Mukherjee said. "We are pulling back the curtain and inviting consumers to learn how our products are created, from our kitchen into theirs."

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