Wavy potato chips dipped in milk chocolate? It may seem a bit unconventional, but Lay’s — the nation’s largest snack maker — is set to announce plans to release the salty and sweet treat for a limited time beginning as early as next week.
"When you try something drastically different, you have to walk before you can run," Ram Krishnan, vice president of marketing for Frito-Lay, told USA Today. "We wanted to test our way through this before we go big."
The idea is that if the chips are successful through the holiday season, then the company may release them on a regular basis. And, unfortunately for some, the new chips will only be available to buy in Target stores. The sweet and salty trend has really taken off this year. Within the last year, at least five new sweet and salty snacks have been released. Those include Kettle Maple Bacon Potato Chips, Planter's Sweet & Salty Snack Mix, ConAgra's Crunch 'n Munch, and Sweet 'n Salty Bugles.
"Flavors are getting more sophisticated and complex," says Tom Vierhile, innovation insights director at DataMonitor. "We are seeing more products that may pair traditional flavor opposites.”
And it seems — at least in the office of Medical Daily — that people are excited about the sweet and salty pairing. But why?
“We like sweet because it signals calories, or energy, to us,” wrote Barb Stuckey, a professional food developer who authored a book entitled TASTE: Surprising Stories and Science About Why Food Tastes Good. “And we like salt because we need it for normal bodily function. We have no sodium storage system, as we do with other minerals (i.e. we store calcium in our bones), so Mother Nature's solution is a built-in craving for it. The combination of these two positive biological responses is VERY pleasurable.”
So there you have it. Sweet and salty taste good together because they are an interplay on both what our body desires and what our body needs. If successful, Lay’s chips could open up so many more flavor possibilities for food companies willing to explore more exotic tastes.