Chinese consumers apparently have inadvertently created a brand extension opportunity for Lay’s potato chips. Chicken wings tossed into a wok and caramelized in soy sauce, spices and cola is a simple and common recipe in China. With that discovery, PepsiCo (owner of both Lay’s and Pepsi, saw an opportunity to package the flavors together in their newest flavor for Lay’s chips.
Richard Lee, PepsiCo's chief marketing officer in China, said the idea came from a brainstorming session involving teams from marketing and R&D, as well as Pepsi ad agency BBDO, Shanghai. Lay's launches a new flavor every year, and this time the goal was fusion.
"We thought it would be really cool to have a cola combined with chicken. ... It's a very popular dish in China," said Mr. Lee. "Also it would be very cool to involve one of our most-iconic soft drinks," he added.
Lay’s is known, of course, for releasing all sorts of unusual flavors combinations, including lemon tea, cucumber and hot-and-sour fish soup. It seems just about any type of flavor can be combined in a chip. According to AdAge, “in potato-chip form, the [pepsi-chicken] flavor is vaguely similar to barbecue with a sugary aftertaste. If there’s any hint of Pepsi, it’s fleeting and lacks fizz.”