Leftovers: Lay’s taps Lionel Messi for a legendary chip variety; Clif gets slim for on-the-go snacking


Leftovers is our look at a few of the product ideas popping up everywhere. Some are intriguing, some sound amazing and some are the kinds of ideas we would never dream of. We can’t write about everything that we get pitched, so here are some leftovers pulled from our inboxes.

With Lionel Messi, Lay’s gets its G.O.A.T.

Two of the world’s greatest — soccer legend Lionel Messi and Lay’s potato chips — are coming together for a limited edition snack.

The PepsiCo potato chip brand is launching the Lay’s G.O.A.T. Cheese line, featuring a picture of Messi on a black and gold bag. The top of the bag says “Messi G.O.A.T” — an acronym for greatest of all time. The bottom has the Lay’s logo and the flavor of the chips inside. The Messi G.O.A.T. chips are in flavors that have been consumer favorites in distinct markets, too. The first flavor in the U.S. is Cheddar Jalapeno. In Messi’s native Argentina, the chips are first hitting the market in Queso & Pimienta and Caramelized Onion flavors. In the U.S., the chips are available exclusively on Snacks.com.

The distinctive chip bags are not only to honor Messi, but also to kick off its annual soccer-themed campaign. Lay’s has partnered with the UEFA Champions League — the premier European league organized by the Union of European Football Associations — since 2015. As the black-and-gold bags were released, the snack brand also launched a video spot featuring a soccer game without a ball starring both Messi and Dutch soccer star Lieke Martens.

“From bringing to life the hotly anticipated Lay’s G.O.A.T. limited-edition packaging and flavors to an imaginative creative that you just have to smile throughout, our goal this season is to celebrate our fans and bring them joy,” PepsiCo Vice President of Marketing for Global Foods Sebnem Erim said in a written statement.

Messi, a seven-time Ballon D’Or winner and star forward formerly for Spain’s FC Barcelona and currently France’s Paris Saint-Germain, as well as Argentina’s national team, has had a record-breaking career. When it comes to stacks, Lay’s chips are way up there, too. According to statistics from research company Wonder referenced by Mashed, Lay’s has nearly a 60% market share of potato chips in the United States.

Messi has been the face of Lay’s soccer-related campaigns around the world for years, appearing on bags, in commercials and even in an app that used artificial intelligence to send what appeared to be personalized messages from the soccer star. None of those were quite as distinctive as this G.O.A.T. bag. 

But while PepsiCo has seized upon the opportunity to tap into Messi’s legendary status, it may have missed another opportunity. It’s created a variety of chips that in marketing materials quite literally appears to be “goat cheese.” And yet, the chips aren’t flavored with the creamy and tangy cheese made from goat’s milk. While Cheddar Jalapeno might be a more popular baseline chip flavor, there are many Americans who love goat cheese. According to a 2017 Cheese Market News story citing IRI data, 8.5% of Americans bought goat cheese, up 0.5% from a year prior.

— Megan Poinski

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Courtesy of Clif Bar


Clif slims down to target post-pandemic consumers

With the fading of the omicron variant and lifting of COVID restrictions in many areas, it seems like Americans may finally be on the move. To take advantage of that timing, Clif Bar & Co. widely launched Clif Thins, a crispy and thin snacking option for the on-the-go consumer.

Available in three flavors — Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Peanut Brownie and White Chocolate Macadamia — Clif Thins offer a promise of decadence. But at 100 calories and 5 grams of sugar per pack — compared to 250 calories and 17 grams of sugar for an average Clif Bar — they also don’t slow consumers down.  

In a statement, Clif Brand Manager Liz Watson points to internal research showing 75% of Americans plan to travel in 2022, with half of them snacking more while they’re on the move. And 43% of U.S. consumers work in hybrid environments, giving them a need for an adaptable snack option, she said.

“Clif Thins are lightweight and easily stored in purses, carry-ons and desks, so you always have a quick and easy pick-me-up in your hectic schedule,” she said.

Clif also seems to be providing a competitor for its arch rival Kind, whose Thins bars also have around 100 calories or less and 4 grams of sugar. In a recent interview with Food Dive, Kind CEO Russell Stokes noted the company’s smaller-portion Thins and Minis have brought new consumers and usage occasions to the brand and category.

Clif Bar announced plans to double sales to $2 billion by expanding its “fit for movement” portfolio last year. Clif Thins can help the company reach this goal. And considering that the product line was initially developed and launched on a limited basis in only six months, they may also provide a quicker on-ramp to faster growth.

— Samantha Oller

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Permission granted by Godiva


Godiva puts the chill on ice cream

Best known for its premium chocolate, Godiva is aiming to replicate that success in the ice cream aisle with its latest product launch.

Godiva is partnering with Boardwalk Frozen Treats on ice cream inspired by the chocolate maker’s best-selling and classic pieces and flavors. The seven flavors are Chocolate Strawberry, Midnight Swirl, Hazelnut Crunch, Mint Medallion, Praline Cone Crunch, Salted Caramel Brownie and Caramel Embrace.

The company said its premium ice cream can be found at most major grocery stores and retailers, including Albertsons, Safeway and Kroger, for a suggested price of $5.49.

“At Godiva, our number one priority is to provide best-in-class, high-quality products across all categories,” Thierry Muret, Godiva’s global executive chef, said in a statement. “When perfecting the Godiva ice cream recipes, we wanted to ensure every bite reminded our fans of Godiva’s iconic chocolate pieces.”

Godiva was founded in Brussels in 1926 by Belgian Chocolatier Pierre Draps and is sold in more than 100 countries today. 

The company, which closed its nearly 130 North American stores during the pandemic, has been moving aggressively to expand beyond its iconic formal chocolate gift boxes by establishing a deeper presence in retail outlets and online. The ice cream launch, which is the first ever for Godiva, will play a big part in that growth by broadening its reach while bringing the Godiva name to another section of the store. Godiva has other new licensing agreements in place this year with Jimmy’s Gourmet Bakery and Cookies United. These are for branded bake-at-home chocolate chip cookie dough filled with chocolate ganache, and kits for gingerbread houses and cookie decorating.

— Christopher Doering

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