Cappuccino Potato Chips? America Says No
But Wasabi Ginger wins Lay's annual contest
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 21, 2014 2:00 PM CDT
This combination file photo shows the four finalists for Frito Lay's second annual "Do Us a Flavor" contest. Wasabi Ginger beat out Cappuccino, Mango Salsa, and Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese.   (Frito Lay)

(Newser) – Good news, Americans: You don't live in a country that tolerates cappuccino-flavored potato chips. But if Wasabi Ginger sounds equally dubious, well, pack your bags, because that's the winner of Lay's contest that gives people a chance to create a new flavor. Also-ran finalists included Mango Salsa and Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese. About 1 million total votes were cast online for the Do Us A Flavor promotion. Bags of the four finalist flavors hit shelves in late July and people were able to vote on Facebook and Twitter for their favorites through this past weekend. It was the second year for the US contest, which is designed to send customers to stores in search of the flavors. Last year's winner, Cheesy Garlic Bread, is still on shelves.

The winner, Meneko Spigner McBeth, a registered nurse from Deptford, NJ, will get $1 million or a percentage of a year in sales. Ram Krishnan, Frito-Lay's chief marketing officer, said this year's winner is evidence Americans want more ethnic flavors—though the top four Lay's flavors remain Original, Barbecue, Cheddar & Sour Cream, and Sour Cream & Onion. He said he couldn't have imagined Lay's selling a Wasabi Ginger flavor when he joined the company eight years ago: "When I went to school, Mexican food was exotic." Winning flavors abroad include Pizza in Saudi Arabia, Shrimp in Egypt, Sunday Roast in New Zealand, and Pickled Cucumber in Serbia. As for the cappuccino flavor—described as "NASTY" and "gross" in Facebook comments—Krishnan says, "the fact that it made it to the final four is no small feat."