How Frito-Lay is entering the world of "discovery brands"

Stephen Whiteside

Five years ago, shoppers in the snacks aisle typically were presented with a handful of big brands hogging almost all the available space. Customers browsing the same shelves today, however, are rapidly becoming acquainted with a range of less-familiar names nestling alongside Cheetos, Lay's and Doritos.

This trend hasn't escaped the attention of Evan Shaver, senior director/strategy of Frito-Lay's Growth Ventures unit. "We've been tasked to find new, explosive areas of growth; the things that Doritos and Lay's and Tostitos and those brands aren't doing.

"As we've been looking through the salty category for the last couple of years, we recognised there are a lot of brands out there that are really growing quickly," he told delegates at the IRI Summit 2014. "We had this new hypothesis that there were these niche brands – or 'discovery brands' – out there."