It’s a little-known fact that the most popular flavor of Ruffles in Canada is something called “All-Dressed.” The mix of ketchup, vinegar, and secret Canuck spices has long teased American tourists, and their questions and demands on Frito-Lay stateside finally were heard last year when the company stamped the flavor’s passport for a limited edition run below the border.
The response from Americans was overwhelming and now the brand is making the flavor a permanent resident on U.S. shelves. Frito-Lay’s VP of marketing Jeff Klein says the brand’s social content drove the highest levels of engagement Ruffles saw in 2015 and the product sold through in all retailers. The brand saw an 80% increase in positive comments on Facebook, and the rate of video views and sharing on Twitter jumped by more than 200%.
“Social media gives us quicker feedback on our consumers’ taste preferences and love for products they’ve known living outside the U.S.,” says Klein. “There are no borders in social media, so we see flavor exploration going beyond borders, as well. For example, consumers who enjoyed All Dressed while living or visiting Canada often tweeted or posted questions on when All Dressed would travel south. So, with this introduction, it was like having an always-on focus group.”
Klein says the company is constantly evaluating flavors globally, and listening to social chatter around consumers’ munchies habits, wants, and needs. “The American flavor palate continues to expand and evolve,” says Klein. “Because of that, we’re always researching and looking out for new flavors, some of which may already be on store shelves globally. Others, we will have to innovate. While there are not currently plans to introduce another Canadian flavor at this time, we continue to follow American flavor trend preferences.”