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Lays Marketing – Getting Bigger and Bigger


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Lays Potato Chip packs are getting bigger. This may sound like a better value for money but it really isn’t. The larger the pack the more you eat. Potato chips are the primary offender food when it comes to weight gain in the US — more than desserts, ice cream and soda, according to research in the New England Medical Journal.

The supermarkets in America have an entire aisle devoted to chips, all in giant bags. Smaller packs are actually more expensive so there is incentive to buy more and that is what people do — even in a household of one or two. The same concept is being forced here — why not spend only a few rupees more and get nearly double the amount. The largest Lays pack available was 65 grams for Rs. 20. Now 110 grams — exactly double is available for Rs.30. Who wouldn’t want that value?

The old adage, “you can’t eat just one,” holds true. Potato chips satisfy our tongue in every way with fat, salt and crunch. In India we have hundreds of choices to satisfy our desire for something salty with our range of namkeens and chewdas, which bought from a store can be equally or more fattening than chips.

But we are talking potatoes. We are talking marketing. Frito-lays, the parent company of Lays, uses slick advertising, wide distribution and price incentives to  sell more chips. New discoveries in science prove that industrially processed, sugar-, fat- and salt-laden food — food that is made in a processing plant rather than grown on a plant is biologically addictive. Some small changes have been made by food companies in the US — no transfats, less salt for instance.

Why are we regressing? Shouldn’t India’s regulators observe what is going on in other parts of the world? They certainly take enough foreign trips to do so!

Bottom Line: Beware of how many chips you are eating. Do not eat out of the bag. Put the chips in a bowl to see how much you are eating. Better yet — avoid them and make yourself a salty chutney or cheese sandwich — nutritious and filling and no empty calories.

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