by Marion Nestle
Feb 26 2009

Food marketing news II: Baked Lays

Food marketing is on my mind these days.  It clearly is also on the mind of marketers at Pepsi.   What’s wrong with you women.  You aren’t buying enough Baked Lays? Pepsi’s research on your feelings about snacking and guilt reveals that you want foods that are healthier.  Pepsi’s answer to this problem?  New packaging, of course.   This ad is probably too small to read but here’s what it says: First woman: “These things are the best invention since the push-up bra.”  Second woman: “I wouldn’t go that far.”  I wouldn’t either, alas.


  • You can see the creative brief from a mile away: We need an ad that communicates to women aged 25-55 and tells them that Lays understands them and their health needs.

    Clearly they know to target women who are making these purchases for the family. Lays isn’t against men or children consuming their products, and they most certainly did not make these chips with women’s health in mind.

  • Alas, if only their products tasted any good, they might have a chance. Could they get any more blatant about the target for this product?

  • I’m pretty sure the push-up bra does not insert chemicals into my bloodstream and digestive tract, so I’m with the second woman on the ad! Plain baked lays ingredients: dehydrated potatoes, modified food starch (yum!), sugar (oh-so-healthy!), corn oil, soy lecithin, leavening [monocalcium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate and dextrose].

    What part of that is the healthy part? That they only BAKED them in oil instead of frying, or that they included sugar and dextrose? Or maybe it’s the modified food starch?

    Sadly, they really think people believe the spin, and even more sadly, many people do believe.

    How about potato chips made from ONLY potatoes?