Lay's Gourmet aims to capture the premium end of the consumer segment, says PepsiCo's Shailja Joshi

In her interaction with, Shailja Joshi, Director-Marketing (Potato Chips Category), PepsiCo, announced the company's plan of providing a premium and indulgent experience to the consumers with Lay's Gourmet

Shreya Negi
New Update
Lay's Gourmet aims to capture the premium end of the consumer segment, says PepsiCo's Shailja Joshi

Shailja Joshi

Despite continual inflationary trends impacting the entire packaged food and consumer goods categories, PepsiCo has witnessed a double-digit growth in their entire business owing to their business strategy of incremental growth along with catering to the changing needs of the consumers.

According to Shailja Joshi, Director-Marketing (Potato Chips Category), PepsiCo, “The inflationary pressures do remain. But over a period of time, we have completely kept ourselves very close to our consumers and the market. And I think in times like these, that becomes more important. So we’ve strategically defined how and where so these sources of growth come for us.”

The company has also launched its new offering, Lay’s Gourmet, which is aimed at grabbing the attention of premium customers.

Commenting on the idea behind and the launch of their new product, Joshi said, “The launch of Lay’s Gourmet is driven by very strong consumer insights, market insights and a multi-level segmentation of consumers. This is our most recent entry which aims to capture the premium end of the consumers as premium is not a large but significant category when it comes to macro snacking and savoury snacking that is growing very well.”

The crafted and kettled chips, Lay’s Gourmet will be available in three flavours- Lime and Cracked Pepper, Thai Sweet Chilli, and Vintage Cheese and Paprika, across India.

Joshi also went on to add that as per the data and research, the top-end of Indian consumers has grown by almost double and is likely to get even bigger in the future.

“Keeping in mind what the consumer needs or what are the expectations of the consumers who want to have something premium on certain occasions, PepsiCo has delivered Lay’s Gourmet, which is incubated using the company’s own technology which imparts it a golden colour with a crispy yet curly texture,” she added.

As per Joshi, the target audience of the new offering will coincide with the core audience of the youth-centric company. “On the psychographic end of the segment, the new offering aims to cater to the occasion-based relevancy and consumption of Lay’s Gourmet,” she added.

Joshi went on to add that the new offering has two USPs- one is the product, its flavours, the indulgent experience and the delivery, and the other is the emotional benefit that the product provides to the consumers.

Joshi also pointed out that as per the company’s marketing strategy they strongly believe in implementing marketing campaigns through connections planning. “So, when we reach out to our consumers, we focus more on the right touch points and timings,” she stated.

Furthermore, Joshi added, “The moment pandemic came in and research and data showed us that in-home consumption was becoming very important, we started to peg ourself very closely to the consumers on occasions, through our ‘in-home campaign’ wherein we rolled large packs for our potato chips segment. Therefore, our marketing is very strategically planned with an aim to drive growth.”

This is the third product launch of the year for PepsiCo, as earlier they had introduced Wafer Style and Sizzlin’ Hot.

“Be it Lay’s Wafers Style or Sizzlin’ Hot, none of our innovations cannibalise the other and we amass a lot of incremental growth because we target incremental occasions along with consumer needs through all our launches and offerings,” she said.

Joshi also went ahead to add that the entire advertising or media space has seen a massive change with the way in which people consume content on digital mediums, OTT platforms or even e-commerce portals from a buying and visibility point of view. “Keeping these factors in mind, we have diversified our ad money in establishing a connection with our consumers. We are experimenting and leading the way through our innovations on media from that point of view,” she stated.   

The 360-degree campaign for Lay’s Gourmet is conceptualised and executed by Wunderman Thompson and will be rolled out in the coming days wherein consumers will see the ads on traditional mediums like TV and digital mediums like social media and e-commerce. But television will play a significant role, as per Joshi.

While Lay’s had forayed into the premium segment with Lay’s Maxx, what is unique about Lay’s Gourmet is that it is a crafted kettled chips offering which will be available in two ranges- Rs 30 and Rs 50.

Moreover, commenting on the strategy front, Joshi pointed out, “Since we are a foods, beverages and snacking company, our purpose is to create more smiles with every sip and with every bite and as a result of this, the consumer segmentation and needs plays a very crucial role.”

In the aftermath of the pandemic, consumers have grown to be quite health-conscious and are on the lookout for such products.

“While there is definitely an increasing need for healthy consumers, there is also an increase in the indulgent consumers who are seeking premium snacking options. So, when we define our portfolio strategy, we always define it from a point of view that this is ‘Fun for you’, ‘Better for you’ and then something that is ‘Good for you’ and that is why we have offerings which are available in each of these markets,” she concluded.

Shailja Joshi Lay's Gourmet PepsiCo