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Frito-Lay's Recent Potato Chip Flavors Another Example Of Millennials' Impact On U.S. Food Industry

LOS ANGELES, July 23, 2014 () – If you’re still wondering about millennials’ impact on the U.S. food industry, I have four words for you:

Cappuccino-flavored potato chips.

Yep, you read that right. Cappuccino-flavored potato chips. It’s one of four new flavors that Frito-Lay is introducing as part of its second annual "Do Us a Flavor" contest in the U.S., which gives people a chance to create a new potato chip that is sold nationally and win $1 million. The other three finalists were Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, Mango Salsa and Wasabi Ginger.

These flavors reflect how Frito-Lay is trying to keep up with changing tastes, influenced heavily by the preferences of millennials. From sushi to Indian food, many millennials grew up eating a variety of ethnic foods and happily describe themselves as “foodies.”

This is why Frito-Lay’s lineup of potato chips now include several Hispanic flavors and why the company is also rolling out Lay's Stax chips in a Korean barbecue flavor and Lay's Stax in Thai Sweet Chili flavor, becoming the first Asian flavors of Lay's chips sold nationally in the U.S. (not counting promotional flavors).

"I can't imagine us 10 years ago doing a wasabi ginger flavor," Ram Krishnan, Frito-Lay's senior vice president of brand marketing, recently told the Associated Press.

My, how times have changed.

Nevin Barich is the Food and Beverage Analyst for Industry Intelligence. Email him here or follow him on Twitter here.

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