PLANO, Texas, April 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division today kicked-off a weeklong event in the heart of New York City aimed at providing a behind-the-scenes look at how its newest product flavors are created, while actually getting consumers involved in the process. From high atop a Times Square billboard, Frito-Lay recreated one of its key flavor development centers – the Flavor Kitchen located at company headquarters in Plano, Texas – to share the real foods and flavorful recipes that have inspired many of its latest snack flavors made with all natural ingredients. The Frito-Lay Flavor Kitchen billboard experience, which begins today and runs through Friday, April 15, will be live-streamed all week from gigantic screens that reach 22 stories high above Times Square and to the Frito-Lay Facebook page (www.facebook.com/fritolay), so consumers across the country can join the event virtually.
Kicking off the week-long flavor celebration is Padma Lakshmi, award-winning cookbook author and Emmy-nominated host of the top-rated TV series "Top Chef." Lakshmi, who is known for her own ability to create flavorful meals and snacks, will join Frito-Lay executive chef Stephen Kalil to lead consumers through this first-of-its-kind, behind-the-scenes culinary demonstration. Additional guest chefs, including Michael Psilakis (premiere Greek chef; owner Kefi in New York and Eos in Miami; judge, Food Network's "Ultimate Recipe Showdown"), Jet Tila (celebrated Asian Fusion chef; executive chef at Wazuzu in Las Vegas) and Colombe Jacobsen (popular natural-foods chef; former contestant, "The Next Food Network Star"), will also make special appearances on the billboard during the week to share their own flavor inspirations and recipes.
Each day throughout the event, Chef Kalil and his team of flavor experts will showcase a different product from Frito-Lay's natural portfolio and the culinary inspiration behind them. In addition, Chef Kalil will spotlight other delicious recipes that could inspire new flavors for Frito-Lay chips in the future, transforming Times Square into a virtual test kitchen for possible snacks that could show up on store shelves sometime soon. Consumers visiting Times Square will have the opportunity to sample the various recipes and the products they inspired, as well as provide insight regarding their own flavor preferences.
"Now more than ever, consumers want to know where the foods they love come from and how they are made," said Ann Mukherjee, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Frito-Lay. "What better way to share the story behind Frito-Lay snacks than by giving consumers a look inside our Flavor Kitchen to see first-hand the all natural ingredients and real foods that inspire the products we make."
Helping to inspire those who love to cook, Frito Lay's Times Square Flavor Kitchen is outfitted with Electrolux premium kitchen appliances. As part of the Frito-Lay/Electrolux partnership, fans who visit and "like" the Frito-Lay Facebook page between April 11 and April 15 can enter for a chance to win an Electrolux appliance each day; at the end of the week, one grand prize winner will receive an entire suite of Electrolux kitchen appliances including an induction cooktop that boils water in 90 seconds(1). Official sweepstakes rules and more information can be found at www.facebook.com/fritolay.
Earlier this year, Frito-Lay announced that approximately 50 percent of its product portfolio will be made with all natural ingredients by the end of 2011, representing the largest product transformation in the company's history. These products do not have any artificial or synthetic ingredients, and they do not contain any artificial flavors or artificial preservatives, or ingredients such as monosodium glutamate (MSG). These products are easily identifiable in stores with a stamp on the package that calls out that the product is made with all natural ingredients, with no MSG, artificial preservatives or artificial flavors.
In addition to this week's Times Square event, Frito-Lay is bringing elements and experiences from its Flavor Kitchen to consumers nationwide in a variety of innovative ways, including:
- Culinary Web Series – The Flavor Kitchen team, led by Chef Kalil with host Laura MacIntosh, offers wholesome, simple and delicious meal solutions for busy moms through a series of online cooking webisodes available at www.facebook.com/fritolay. Content from the Times Square recipe demonstrations will be incorporated into future episodes.
- Zynga FarmVille Integration – Frito-Lay connects the Flavor Kitchen experience to its Facebook fans with a sponsored integration in Zynga's FarmVille. On Monday, April 11, FarmVille players have the chance to harvest Frito-Lay sponsored in-game crops used in the Flavor Kitchen to create Frito-Lay snacks made with all natural ingredients. In return, FarmVille players can earn exclusive virtual goods.
- Quick-Response (QR) codes – QR codes in print advertisements and on specially marked in-store promotional displays unlock Flavor Kitchen recipes, webisodes and links to other content via smartphones.
- On-Package Bar Codes – Scanning the on-pack barcodes with smartphones allows consumers to view a "Seed to Shelf" mini-documentary that spotlights the story behind several of Frito-Lay's snacks made with all natural ingredients, along with nutritional information and other content.
(1) 10" induction burner with Power Boost, 6 qt./10" diameter pot, 1 qt. tepid water
Frito-Lay North America is the $13 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate Web site, http://www.fritolay.com/, the Snack Chat blog, http://www.snacks.com/ and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/fritolay.
PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales each. Our main businesses -- Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay, and Pepsi Cola -- also make hundreds of other enjoyable and wholesome foods and beverages that are respected household names throughout the world. With net revenues of approximately $60 billion, PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet, which we believe also means a more successful future for PepsiCo. We call this commitment Performance with Purpose: PepsiCo's promise to provide a wide range of foods and beverages for local tastes; to find innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment, including by conserving energy and water usage, and reducing packaging volume; to provide a great workplace for our associates; and to respect, support, and invest in the local communities where we operate. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.
About The Electrolux Group
Electrolux has a rich heritage of developing kitchen appliances in Europe, which have been used throughout fine homes and restaurants for more than 80 years. Among these products is the prestigious Molteni brand, a name chosen by the world's greatest chefs who expect the ultimate in cooking performance. Design centers around the world are focused on understanding consumer needs and developing innovative designs that fit with how consumers live. For more information, visit www.electroluxappliances.com.
SOURCE Frito-Lay North America