Lay’s hopes its new look pops on shelf

PepsiCo has changed the logo and packaging for the first time in 13 years, with a focus on flavour and home grown ingredients.

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To paraphrase James Brown, Lay’s has got a brand new bag.

PepsiCo’s flagship potato chip brand is kicking off the new year with its first logo and packaging change in 13 years, that’s brighter and more eye catching.

The new branding officially debuted at the end of November across digital, social and OOH, but a totally new design for its bags is now rolling out nationally in-store. Together, the new look is meant to dial up appetite appeal and increases the prominence of the brand’s “Made in Canada” status (it has several production facilities in the country).

Shirley Mukerjea, senior marketing director at PepsiCo Canada, says the bright, concentric rings radiating out from the Lay’s logo represent the “magnetic pull” towards the delicious taste. The newly designed pack is meant to more clearly celebrate the ingredients that go into each flavour, with things like potatoes, cheese and tomatoes featuring more prominently, depending on the flavour.

Many brands limited innovation and production on certain SKUs in order to ensure core products were available during 2020′s supply chain challenges – something Mukerjea says PepsiCo monitored and responded too as “unusual spikes” in demand arose.

At the beginning of the pandemic she says Lay’s saw consumers making fewer trips to the store, while simultaneously
buying larger quantities of product. This in turn drove unusual spikes in volume, and in response the brand quickly adjusted its regular production process to ensure it had its top SKUs in stock.

But she adds that the variety of Lay’s SKUs (22, including last year’s new Cheddar Jalapeno, placed front and centre), as well as the quality of ingredients used to create them, is a differentiator in the snack aisle, hence calling them out that much more prominently.

Mukerjea says the change marks the biggest global design evolution in the history of Lay’s. “We recognized that it was an important venture in order to remain relevant—it also presented a unique opportunity to reignite the brand’s relationship with consumers,” she says.

Mukerjea tells strategy that the logo itself has also undergone some carefully crafted changes. It has been strategically placed more centrally on pack for increased visual attention, and typographers aligned the brand’s 12 logo variants across the globe and navigated a number of different language and character sets to create an identity that is harmonized globally. But closer to home, the “Made in Canada” mark is featured as a “badge of honour,” she adds.

Ketchup

Mukerjea says the company has also seen the consumer insights regarding heightened interest in understanding nutritional benefits. But instead of putting those on the front of the bag as other snack brands do, that area has been entirely focused on home-grown flavours – Lay’s instead created a consolidated “claims section” on the back of all packages that indicates the relevant claims associated with each flavour, from being gluten-free and kosher to not having any artificial flavours or colours.

Overall, the redesign is meant to help the Lays brand entrench its positioning as being “joyful and positive,” Mukerjea says, something that will be reflected in a broader marketing effort in the coming months with support from agency partners SGK, BBDO Toronto, OMD and Mark IV. Compared to Doritos, which has typically had a younger fan base that expects “bold experiences,” Lay’s crosses generations and is focused on those who find simple moments of joy in the everyday.

PepsiCo’s global design team and Schawk led the work on the overhaul.

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