Frito-Lay goes au naturel

That nebulous, indefinable word “natural” has hit the top of the trends charts early this year, with PepsiCo walking its much-vaunted talk to produce healthier offerings.

In the US, Frito Lay’s new year resolution is to go on a health kick, and while it’s not exactly donning Birkenstocks, it has announced a cross-brand commitment to produce more than half its products from all-natural ingredients by the end of this year ie lose the likes of MSG, sodium diacetate and artificial colours. The move is motivated by consumer demand, with taste the top consideration, a spokesperson comments.

Frito-Lay North America is remaking more than six dozen varieties of product with all natural ingredients. Affected brands include all the flavors of Lay’s potato chips, Tostitos tortilla chips, Sun Chips multigrain snacks (which made headlines with its noisy compostable bags last year), Baked! snacks, and Rold Gold pretzels.

The change to all natural ingredients with no artificial flavors or preservatives and no synthetic ingredients like monosodium glutamate (MSG), will affect about 50% of all Frito-Lay product — and millions of loyal, snacking consumers. Barbecue-flavored Lay’s potato chips, for example, will have an average of 25% less sodium.

Frito-Lay will use digital media to drive consumers to its Facebook and individual brands’ FB pages, making it the company with the broadest portfolio of consumer products that include a Facebook URL to date.

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COMMENT: “This is the largest evolution we’ve ever had in our product line,” says Ann Mukherjee, chief marketing officer at Frito-Lay. Read more

COMMENT: Pepsi’s answer to “eat natural”: snackify beverages and drinkify snacks – by Marion Nestle