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Frito-Lay touts all-natural ingredients


Frito-Lay in the U.S. is introducing all-natural ingredients in some of its products and says that by the end of 2011 half its portfolio will be all natural. 

In a Dec. 28 announcement, the PepsiCo division said that some 72 individual products, including a few of its biggest brands, Lay’s potato chips, Tostitos tortilla chips and SunChips, will make the switch to natural ingredients–though that won't be the case in Canada.

In a statement to Canadian Grocer, PepsiCo Canada said that it's all-natural initiative will differ from the United States and that it is not shifting half the Frito-Lay portfolio to natural ingredients. A spokesperson for PepsiCo suggested that government regulations regarding the term "all-natural" are more stringent here in Canada than in the United States.

The Canadian division did confirm that it will introduce Lay's Kettle Cooked potato chips with all-natural flavours and will reformulate the seasonings used for SunChips multigrain snacks to all-natural this year. 

All-natural has become a popular marketing slogan with food companies lately, but so far the term has been ill defined and created confusion for consumers.

In its announcement, Frito-Lay U.S. made some effort to explain its definition. Its all-natural product lines will contain no artificial or synthetic ingredients, no artificial flavours or preservatives and no monosodium glutamate (MSG).

“Consumers are seeking a wider range of products made with all-natural ingredients," Ann Mukherjee, senior vice-president and chief marketing officer at Plano, Tex.-based Frito-Lay, said in a statement.  "Many of the unflavored snacks in our portfolio are already made with all-natural ingredients, and we've focused on expanding our portfolio of products with all-natural ingredients to include more of consumers' favourite flavoured products."

Frito Lay said its reformulated products will be identifiable in stores with a stamp on package that states the product is made with all-natural ingredients, with no MSG, artificial preservatives or artificial flavours.

To promote the change in recipe to consumers, Frito-Lay said it’s launching the largest integrated marketing campaign in its history. It starts Jan. 1 during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl college football game. It will also include print advertising, in-store marketing, a Facebook page, Twitter page and a blog at

(Editor's Note: A previous version of this article did not indicate the difference between Frito-Lay's American and Canadian all-natural strategies.)

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