When it came to expanding the Tostitos line, “cheese is actually the number one flavor people want more of when they’re looking for tortilla chips,” Leslie Vesper, VP of brand marketing at Frito-Lay North America, told FoodNavigator-USA.
But not only are consumers looking for cheesy flavors, but they are also looking for new flavors when they purchase products, Vesper noted. In Frito-Lay’s most recent Snack Index, 71% of 2,000 US adults surveyed stated “they’re more excited to try new flavors or variations of their favorite snacks in 2023,” she said. The new flavor also joins a line of other flavored Tostitos products, including Tostitos Hint of Lime, Tostitos Hint of Guacamole, Tostitos Salsa Verde, Tostitos Habanero, and others, she added.
PepsiCo looks to mealtimes
Beyond providing new flavors, PepsiCo and its brands are looking to find more opportunities to bring PepsiCo into mealtimes. At the recent Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference, PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta discussed how in 2023 a big focus will be on mealtimes, providing consumers with ways to use PepsiCo products like Tostitos as an ingredient for meals.
The Mexican Style Three Cheese “is a versatile chip … for dipping and as a meal ingredient,” Vesper said. This chip can be used as “the base for a carne asada tostada, layered into three-cheese chilaquiles, or as a complement to grilled shrimp elotes style,” Vesper said. These recipes are available on the Tostitos website, and the brand will also share content on the new flavor, including recipes, via social media channels, Vesper explained.
Creating moments to share meal inspiration
Another way that Laguarta highlighted to get consumer thinking about PepsiCo products as ingredients is by providing moments where they can try meals prepared with PepsiCo products, including Tosticentro food trucks and carts, which serve street food dishes like Tostilocos or Dorilocos in Mexico.
Last month, the company hosted its “first Tostitos pop-up restaurant, Tost by Tostitos” at Super Bowl LVII, which featured “a menu completely centered around Tostitos,” Vesper said. Some of the menu items included “chicken strips that were coated with crushed Tostitos, … an Arizona cheese crisp topped with Tostitos, … and even a Tostitos-infused ice cream,” she added.
“At Frito-Lay, we don't view chips as just chips,” Vesper said. “We create new ways for fans to enjoy their favorite chips and snacks while inspiring them to get creative in the way they bring different flavors and textures into their meal routines.”