Monday, September 29, 2014

All About Lay's: Russia

Hey kids. It's been slow news recently while we await to hear which flavors are going to win all these contests being held all over the world (like wtf, why are the World Cup contests still undecided in South America). So I decided to start a new segment here at The Chip Report, a segment dedicated not to the newest bag of chips, but to the standard range of flavors being produced every day in distant lands. Today, we'll start the segment with RUSSIA.
To begin, Lay's Russia has 3 ranges; Lay's: the traditional chip, Lay's Max: The thicker cut wavy style chip, and Lay's Strong: a Ruffles style chip that is also noted for "strong" flavors.

Lay's introduced their signature potato chips to the Russian market in 1992, a market that found salted potato slices boring. It wasn't until 2005 that Lay's did extensive market research across the whole of Russia to introduce flavors that would have more appeal to the Russian public. This research inspired Lay's to create Crab, Caviar, Pickled Cucumbers and a variety of unique flavors that would bring Lay's the success they had in their homeland. And later would lead to the introduction of Lay's Max and Lay's Strong.

Those signature Lay's make up the biggest line in Russia with flavors "Bacon", "Salted", "Cheese", "Green Onion", "White Mushrooms with Sour Cream", "Potatoes with Butter and Dill", "Sour Cream and Fresh Herbs"(which also comes in a Ruffled version, but because the flavor is mild it is just part of the Lay's line not the Strong line), "Pickled Cucumbers", and "Crab" (I can't find any official info regarding the status of "Red Caviar" flavor, but I find it unlikely it was discontinued, so I'll include it in this post... a LOT of countries only post some of the flavors they actually sell online, so it makes hunting them down a lot harder than you would think). Take a look.
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Russia's version of Lay's MAX are most comparable to our Lay's Wavy line. They are waved, thick cut, potato chips in "Meat on Coals","Cheese and Onion", and "Chicken Wings". Other nations, most notably the UK, also carry the MAX line, but as a Ruffled chip, so the brand depends on local markets.
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Finally is the Lay's Strong line. At first glance, these are Ruffles but under a different brand name... upon further inspection the Strong line shows it's character actually comes from a collection of Bold flavors. "Smoked Cheese", "Aspic with Horseradish" (don't know what Aspic is? Google it, it's Meat Gelatin bro), and "Spicy Hunting Sausages". This line is probably the most telling about the Russian market. Frito-Lay's own study found that Russian's considered the traditional Salted chip to be "boring" and the Strong collection is comprised of loud flavors. Most likely in an effort to provide Russian consumers with the bolder flavors that would appeal to them.
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So what do you think? Does any of Russia's range make your mouth water? Are you dreaming about those Butter and Dill flavored ones like I am?? Have you found and tried any of these? We'd love to know!  Sound off in the comments below.

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