Snack Bags Get Hot

By October 16, 2017 No Comments

Human beings are suckers for personalization, especially when said personalization is related to snack customization. From cupcake decorating parties to Lunchables where you make your own mini pizzas or cracker, cheese, and ham combos, we love the ability to tailor-make our snacks to meet our own desires. Didn’t you ever get home from school as a kid, make a beeline toward the freezer, nuke a frozen burrito, and doctor it with added cheese, hot sauce, and salsa? Sure, you can rip open a plain ol’ bag of Doritos and dig in, but wouldn’t it be so much more fun to add your own seasonings? Companies around the world are punching up the flavor of your favorite bag of chips with a sachet of added seasoning. From salt to sauces, there’s a flavor addition for every palate.

Mexico has been doing it for years — take a bag of Fritos and douse them in chile and lime, and you’ve got a snack that’s customized to the region. Before Fritos came in a prepackaged chile and lime flavor, hungry consumers were doing it themselves. Now you’ll find even crazier concoctions lining the streets of Mexico. Take Dorilocos (or Crazy Doritos). Walking down the streets of Mexico City, you’ll see street vendors slinging these gluttonous concoctions. A bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos are sliced open lengthwise, then topped with grated carrots, jicama, cucumber, pickled pork rinds, peanuts, jellied candies, lime juice, two kinds of chili powder, and several kinds of fruity syrup and hot sauce. Over the top? Yes. But you can’t deny the appeal of a customized bag of chips.

One of the United Kingdom’s oldest brand of potato crisps, Salt ‘n’ Shake, began serving potato chips with included sachets in the 1920s. The chips were created by Frank Smith and sold in pubs in Cricklewood, London. Drunken pubgoers were stealing the salt cellars he provided alongside his chips, so Smith began selling the chips with a small blue sachet of salt. Now, you can purchase the chips with the same blue sachet containing 0.6g of salt, allowing the consumer to salt their crisps to suit their own taste.

All around the world, you’ll find similar products. In India, Lay’s (owned by Pepsico India) created the Chip-n-Sauce pack. Launched in 2008 to offer cricket lovers a snack to enjoy while watching the sporting event, the Lay’s Chip-n-Sauce pack comes in Chilli Chinese flavor with a Schezwan Sauce sachet and Chatpata Indian with a Tamarind Sauce sachet inside the package. In South America, Lay’s is also cornering the market on chip customization. As if their unique flavors like Ham, Olive Oil, and Parmesan and Beef Carpaccio with Parmeggiano aren’t off-the-wall enough, in Peru, you can enjoy the Lay’s Dips brand which includes a Peruvian Criollo Chili sauce sachet.

And the beauty of customized chip flavorings is that you can do it at home. Sure, there are a few brands that offer included flavor sachets, but get creative and do it yourself! Japanese furikake seasoning (a mixture of dried fish, sesame seeds, chopped seaweed, sugar, and salt) makes a great topping for plain chips or popcorn. Try kale powder over your Lay’s or Tajin, Mexican chili, lime, and salt seasoning on your Fritos. Your chip bag is your oyster!


If you’d like to share your perspective or discuss ours, please email Peter Allen to schedule a conversation.