PepsiCo LAY'S® lifting innovation capabilities

For 75 years flavour has been at the heart of PepsiCo brand LAY’S® success. However new players in the potato chips market have begun to challenge LAY'S® flavour superiority, satisfying the evolving tastes and expectations of consumers in new and exciting ways. To win in this challenging environment, the business needed to revitalise its approach to flavour innovation.  

Lifting flavour innovation capability

The team at PepsiCo wanted to approach flavour innovation in a more strategic, collaborative way across functions, with new flavours rooted in a clear brand and consumer rationale. The existing approach to flavour innovation had become fragmented, with a proliferation of initiatives across the world, leading to inefficiency and duplication in the system.

BRAND LEARNING worked with the cross-functional LAY'S® global team to develop a practical, “real-work-focused” approach that guided teams from brand strategy through to flavour ideas, to ultimately deliver a stronger pipeline of flavour innovation:

PROCESS: A consistent, best practice global framework for strategic flavour innovation was developed, combining rigour with creativity. Piloted and optimized with 2 regional teams before being finalized, the versatile process allows cross-functional teams to tackle different flavour-related challenges.

A comprehensive toolkit was created to support people in their real work on-the-job. Containing the framework, tools, guidance and examples, it supports teams in running their own flavour innovation projects from start to finish. An internal portal was subsequently created by the LAY'S® team to increase global awareness and access.

The new approach was rolled out across 12 key markets, bringing global and local cross-functional experts together to solve a live flavour challenge in real time. BRAND LEARNING facilitated workshops that brought together the relevant stimulus and insights, identifying the strongest flavour territories and ideas to take forward.

The project was delivered collaboratively and at pace in genuine partnership with the PepsiCo team, using shared communication platforms such as Slack. 

World-class capability that will deliver incremental revenue and profit

The new approach and real-work-focused roll-out was exceptionally well-received by all teams involved. Each market in which the project ran consistently delivered a strong set of high potential, strategically-aligned flavour ideas. Testing in Eastern Europe achieved some of the best results on record, even in markets where the brand had historically struggled.

For the PepsiCo business the new approach created a mindset of cross-functional partnership, enabling greater co-ordination, diversity of involvement, and a focus on fewer, bigger, better flavour ideas.

Published with kind permission. 

Read our other Pepsico case study, about our work establishing marketing as the growth engine.

Together we have created a truly world class capability and a business tool which will deliver incremental revenue and profit for the business. You can’t say that every day. CIARA DILLEY, GLOBAL INNOVATION DIRECTOR, LAY’S
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