Posted March 21, 2013 by Matt in Bloggers

Lay’s Sriracha Flavor

Lays enhancedLay’s implores people everywhere to “do them a flavor” in their recent effort to select a new national taste sensation. The three flavor candidates are Cheezy Garlic Bread, Chicken and Waffles, and Sriracha. Obviously, the one I’m most interested in is Sriracha flavor, but I also tried the Chicken and Waffles, and, sadly, will not be trying the Cheezy Garlic Bread. Why? Because I cannot understand why Lay’s can’t get it right. Undoubtedly, Frito-Lay has come up with some classic chips and great flavors, but sometimes their offerings are a bit too audacious, and amount to a big swing and a miss.

I do commend Lays for attempting to push the envelope and trying to come out with new and “relevant” flavors, but it’s frustrating that they aren’t more successful. For instance, the Chicken and Waffles flavor neither tastes like chicken or waffles; it tastes like syrup. WhySriracha enhanced proclaim your product tastes like chicken and waffles when it doesn’t? Where is the break down in the process of bringing a flavor to market? It would seem somewhere along the way in the focus groups and taste tests someone, somewhere, would maybe mention, “Hey, this doesn’t actually taste like chicken and waffles.” Just putting a picture of a drumstick and fluffy homemade waffles isn’t going to transfer flavor to the product itself; or, somehow convince someone that, “Yeah, I thought it tasted like syrup, but it has the picture of chicken and waffles on it, so I must be mistaken and it really does taste like chicken and waffles.” (And why all the overemphasis on superficial considerations by manufacturers. Who hasn’t seen the tired proclamation, “New Look!, Same Great Taste!”? I don’t care what a product looks like. I care about its actual, inherent value to me as a customer. Just because a product’s packaging is made more appealing doesn’t mean I’m going to like it more and buy more of it. Instead of using all that time improving the looks of something, how about spending time improving the actual flavor and quality of a product? Call me crazy, but that would be a much more constructive and valuable use of everyone’s time, and, producers may even sell more of their product.)

But I digress…somewhat…All that about Lay’s Chicken and Waffles flavor to say this about the Sriracha flavor: It tastes good, but it doesn’t taste like Sriracha. There may be a vague resemblance, but these chips do not truly capture the essence of the classical rooster sauce that spicy connoisseurs have come to know and love. I’m sure almost anyone who’s tried Sriracha will agree (and for those who’d like to know more about Sriracha, feel free to go here). Again, at least these taste good (the Chicken and Waffles doesn’t taste bad, per se, either), but neither of these flavors taste good enough for me to purchase them again, and, I suspect, neither will catch on and take their place among the pantheon of other beloved Frito-Lay flavors.

Lays chip enhanced

In this day and age, I’m not sure why a company cannot reproduce almost any flavor out there. I know Lay’s can create some incredibly good chips because I’ve had their non-U.S. Walkers brand Roast Chicken crisps (potato chips), and they were outstanding; they tasted like actual slivers of dried, yet succulent, savory roasted chicken. If they can pull off this flavor feat, then there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to do any other flavor successfully.


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