Potato Chip Maker Lets Consumers Choose New Flavors

Sure Chai tastes great as tea, but what about on a potato? Could Strawberry Cream potato chips be coming to grocery store shelves in 2005? It’s up to consumers to decide.

Kettle Foods, makers of the No. 1 selling, all natural Kettle brand Potato Chips, is asking fans to help choose its next flavor. On the ballot for consideration are: Chai, Cheddar Beer, Moroccan Curry, Spicy Thai and Strawberry Cream. The consumer favorite will go into production later this year.

"Inviting consumers to vote for their favorite is a great way for us to tap into flavor trends," said Carolyn Richards, chief flavor architect of Kettle Foods. "Every year we get hundreds of passionate letters from people totally devoted to a particular flavor or enamored with the idea of a new one. We’ve built a reputation for unconventional and delicious combinations. After more than 25 years we thought, ‘why not ask our fans?’"

Consumers can rate each of the five flavors on Kettle Foods’ Crave-O-Meter, a "five-point scale of deliciousness" at www.crave.kettlefoods.com, between January 10 and March 31, 2005.

The winning flavor will be announced in April. Everyone who rates the flavors online will be entered into a random drawing to win a year’s supply (for chip lovers out there, that’s a case per month) of Kettle brand Potato Chips.

All five flavors were submitted by real consumers and tested by the folks at Kettle Foods. "We’ve built our brand around great flavor," Richards said. "We wouldn’t make anything that didn’t taste great."

Kettle Foods describes the surprising blend of flavors as:

Chai: More sweet than savory, the cinnamon, ginger and other harvest spices make this lightly-flavored chip the ultimate comfort food with a dash of the exotic.

Cheddar Beer: This chip combines tangy cheese with malty beer notes to form a perfect balance of smooth and salty flavors.

Moroccan Curry: Playing off the hottest food trend of the year, a complex blend of exotic spices lends a rich aroma to this chip. This buttery chip is the ultimate indulgence with a mouthwatering combination of cool mint and yogurt flavors.

Spicy Thai: This chip balances sweet and hot flavors with its chili, ginger, lime, and honey notes. The flavors blend together transparently but leave a tangy reminder on your tongue.

Strawberry Cream: This is a chip that really pushes convention. A surprising blend of sweet, tart and salty flavors complement the potato chip and actually taste great. Layers of strawberry and cream flavors give this chip its unmistakably jammy aroma.

Last summer Kettle Foods asked fans of Kettle brand Potato Chips to assume the role of ‘Flavor Architect’ and share their cravings. The zealous response surprised the company, which received more than 16,000 suggestions for new flavors. While most were delicious sounding chip pairings, some of those that didn’t make the cut include Chili Cheese Dog, Fish Oil & Garlic, Asparagus, Anchovy, Beef Stick, Broccoli, Bubble Gum, Cotton Candy, Peppermint, and Mustard & Ketchup.

Flavors in the company’s existing line-up include unique combinations such as Roasted Red Pepper with Goat Cheese, Jalapeño with Tequila and Lime, Honey Dijon, and delicious standards such as Classic Barbeque, Sea Salt & Vinegar and its most popular flavor to date, Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper.

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