The Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” contest has only been around three years in the United States. But it’s already garnered national attention from taste buds and media alike.
Last year, Wasabi Ginger took the $1 million prize, beating out Cappuccino and two other unique flavors. This year, the four final flavors seem almost normal by comparison. Southern Biscuits and Gravy, Wavy West Cost Truffle Fries, Greektown Gyro, and New York Reuben are all vying for the coveted permanent spot in the 2015 Lay’s line-up.
The contest was launched in July 2012 to celebrate Lay’s 75th anniversary. Runner-ups receive $50,000 in prize money and the winner takes home $1 million or 1 percent of the chip’s net sales for the year (whichever turns out to be more).
Cheesy Garlic Bread was the contest’s first winner, submitted by a part-time librarian from Land O’Lakes, Wisconsin. It returned for a second time in January 2014 when Wasabi Ginger was crowned victorious.
This year’s contestants were asked to include the city and state that inspired their flavor ideas. From Southern comfort food to New York Reuben, this year’s flavors represent America’s love for diverse flavors, Lay’s says.
The contestant behind the Southern Biscuits and Gravy flavor is Hailey Green of Noblesville, Ind. She told WTHR-TV her grandmother’s biscuits and gravy inspired her choice and her work as a travel agent has made her appreciate “homemade style.” Lay’s puts it this way in its article on the four finalists:
“As a travel agent, Hailey Green has many opportunities to sample local flavors when exploring a new city. She has a great appreciation for each locale’s ‘homemade style,’ because it reminds her of her own childhood, filled with memories of eating southern food in her grandmother’s kitchen. One of Hailey’s favorite dishes is biscuits and gravy – a recipe that was handed down in her family generation after generation. Not surprisingly, this family-favorite also inspired her potentially million-dollar winning potato chip idea.”
Former 98 Degrees singer Nick Lachey traveled across the country on Tuesday to surprise finalists by personally delivering the news that their flavor was among the final picks. As Reuters reported, Mr. Lachey embraced the role:
"Throughout my career, I've spent months traveling the country performing and meeting millions of fans. As part of that experience, I've had the opportunity to take in the local tastes of cities and towns across America," said Lachey. "Now I get to head out on another incredible, cross-country journey. I can't wait to meet these four 'Do Us A Flavor' finalists, try their flavors and see the look on their faces when I tell them they're in the running for a $1 million grand prize."
Voting officially begins on July 27th when all four flavors hit shelves and runs through October 18th on the Do Us a Flavor website. Fans can also vote on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags #VoteTruffleFries, #VoteBiscuits, #VoteReuben, or #VoteGyro. Happy voting!