AskDefine | Define lays

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /leɪz/



  1. Plural of lay




Extensive Definition

Lay's is the brand name for a number of potato chip varieties as well as the name of the company that founded the chip brand in 1938. Lay's chips are marketed as a division of Frito-Lay, a company owned by PepsiCo Inc. since 1965. Other brands in the Frito-Lay group include Fritos, Doritos, Ruffles, Cheetos and Rold Gold pretzels.


In 1932 salesman Herman W. Lay opened a snack food operation in Nashville, Tennessee and, in 1938, he purchased the Atlanta, Georgia potato chip manufacturer "Barrett Food Company," renaming it "H.W. Lay & Company." Lay criss-crossed the southern United States selling the product from the trunk of his car. In 1942, Lay introduced the first continuous potato processor, resulting in the first large-scale production of the product.
The business shortened its name to "the Lay's Company" in 1944 and became the first snack food manufacturer to purchase television commercials, with Bert Lahr as a celebrity spokesman. His signature line, "so crisp you can hear the freshness," became the chips' first slogan along with "de-Lay-sious!" As the popular commercials aired during the 1950s, Lay's went national in its marketing and was soon supplying product throughout the United States.
In 1961, the Frito Company founded by Elmer Doolin and Lay's merged to form Frito-Lay Inc., a snack food giant with combined sales of over $127 million annually, the largest of any manufacturer. Shortly thereafter, Lays introduced its best-known slogan "betcha you can't eat just one." Sales of the chips became international, with marketing assisted by a number of celebrity endorsers.
In 1965, Frito-Lay merged with the Pepsi Cola Company to form Pepsico, Inc. and a barbecue version of the chips appeared on grocery shelves. A new formulation of chip was introduced in 1991 that was crisper and kept fresher longer. Shortly thereafter, the company introduced the "Wavy Lays" products to grocer shelves. In the mid to late 1990s, Lay's modified its barbecue chips formula and rebranded it as "K.C. Masterpiece," named after a popular sauce, and introduced a lower calorie baked version and a variety that was completely fat-free (Lay's WOW chips containing the fat substitute olestra).
In the 2000s, kettle cooked brands appeared as did a processed version called Lay's Stax that was intended to compete with Pringles, and the company began introducing a variety of additional flavor variations.
Frito-Lay products presently control 55% of the United States salty foods marketplace.


Walkers is a snack food manufacturer in the United Kingdom best known for manufacturing crisps. PepsiCo has owned the Walkers crisp label in the United Kingdom since 1991 and distributes Lay's product via this brand name. Potato chips are known as crisps in the UK, where chips refers to fried potatoes resembling French Fries, although usually thicker. The logo for the British version is notably similar to the American brand, featuring a red ribbon around a yellow sun. The other Frito-Lay brands are also distributed through the Walkers label.
In Australia, Pepsico acquired the The Smith's Snackfood Company in 1998 and marketed Frito-Lay products under that label, using the name Thins. After Thin's was sold to Snack Brands Australia (Owned by Arnotts), Smith's produced a line of potato chips under the Lay's brand for a brief period of time. The Lay's line was eventually rebranded as Smith's Crisps, while the traditional Smith's line was renamed Smith's Crinkles. Thins is still sold in Australia as a direct competitor to Smith's Crisps.
In Canada, the chips are distributed through the Lay's label.
In Mexico, Pepsico acquired Sabritas S. de R.L. in 1966. Lay's along with other products such as Cheetos, Fritos, Doritos and Ruffles are marketed under the Sabritas brand. The logo for the Mexican company sports the red ribbon, but it has a stylized smiling face instead of the sun. It controls around 80% of the market there.
In Israel, the Lay's label is distributed with the name Tapochips (תפוצ'יפס)
In Germany, Lay's are sold in three varieties: Lay's, Lay's Light and Lay's Sensations. As with Doritos, Lay's are manufactured, distributed and imported in Germany by Frito Lay's Dutch division, Smith's Food Group.
  • In September of 2007, Lays changed their logo with an all new one. It is similar to the previous one but it has more of a 3D look and the letters 'a' and 'y' are connected. Plus the bag itself has been placed in a whole new look.
        • In Brazil, chips are distributed under a Lay's sister-company, Elma Chips.


  • That's another reason to smile! Lay's Potato Chips (2007)
  • Food for the fun of it! (2007)
  • Lay's, get your smile on! (2006-)
  • Lay's. Want some?
  • Betcha can't eat just one (1960s-present)
  • Ποτέ δεν μπορείς να φας μόνο ένα! (Lay's Greece)
  • Lays ka mazaa lo(Lay's Pakistan)meaning-Have fun with Lay's
  • You can't eat just one....Lagi bet! (Lay's India)
  • Har programme ka main food (Lay's India)meaning- The main food for every programme
  • No one can eat just one (Lay's India)
  • A que no puedes comer solo una! (Lay's Mexico,Chile and Argentina)
  • Lay's. Vrei si tu? (Lay's Romania)
  • Лэйс - захрустишь,не устоишь!(Russia)
  • Kartą paragavęs negali sustot! (Lithuania)


Except for barbecue-flavor potato chips, which were introduced no later than 1958, up until the last 20 years, the only flavor of potato chips had been the conventional one. Despite an explosion of new flavors, the unadorned original is still the selection of 81% of consumers.
In the United States, Lay's offers a number of flavor combinations, in addition to the classic chips. Flavored products in the traditional fried varieties include sour cream & Onion, Barbecue, cheddar & sour cream, Hidden Valley Ranch, salt & vinegar, salt & pepper, Flamin' Hot, dill pickle, limón (Lime) and a thicker "Deli style" chip. Canadian sellers have a number of varied flavors, with curry, ketchup, poutine, pizza, Fries'n Gravy, roast chicken, smokey bacon, salsa, wasabi, spicy Indian masala and sea salt and pepper brands available. The marketing success of these flavors in Canada sometimes leads to a limited time offering of a flavor to the south, with the dill pickle recently appearing in the United States after a successful run.
Interestingly the name 'sour cream' has got Lay's into a lot of confusion in some countries. In India for instance the name was changed to style cream after consumers reported their discomfort with the idea of 'sour' cream
In the baked products, there are classic, barbecue and sour cream & onion varieties. The kettle cooked version includes original, sea salt & vinegar, mesquite barbecue and jalapeño brands. Wavy Lay's have original, hickory barbecue, ranch and au gratin flavors while Lay's Stax offers original, sour cream & onion, cheddar, barbecue, ranch, pizza and salt & vinegar. The newest variety, Lay's Natural has thick cut barbecue and sea salt brands.
The WOW! brand was rebranded in 2004 as Lay's Light after the olestra formula was altered and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed removal of warnings about various health consequences of the fat substitute.
Outside North America, Lay's in Greece and Cyprus are made and packed by Tasty Foods and Corina Snacks LTD, with Mediterranean flavors which include Feta cheese flavor, Tzatziki flavor, Olive and Tomato, Oregano, Sea Salt & Black Pepper and various more. There are hundreds of sub-variations of the Mediterranean line and the company performs constant experimentations to create new flavors and adjust them to each country's liking. In some countries such as Argentina variations of the Mediterranean tastes exist include Olive Oil and Parmesan Cheese, Olive Oil and Tomato, Olive Oil and Basil, Greek Tzatziki Cheese with onions, Lasagna, Beef Carpaccio with Parmeggiano and Smoked Manchego Cheese. In Belgium there is a version of Cucumber and Goats Cheese. Finally in Chile there is a version of Lemon and Cilantro (Coriander) and Sour Cream and Onions.
In Australia, a cilantro version exists while a hot & sweet chili, sweet corn and cotija cheese brand can be found in South America.
Another flavor sold primarily in southern Asia is called "Magic Masala." This flavor is very popular in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Flavors featured in Thailand include Nori Seaweed, Korean Bulgogi and Green Tea.
There are a number of unique products in the United Kingdom sold under the Walkers label, including prawn cocktail, beef & onion, Greek kebab and Marmite yeast extract. Under the Smith's label in Australia, unique flavors include Greek Feta & Herb and Italian Tomato & Basil.
Russia has "Lay's MAX" chips (Chicken, Sourcream & Onion, Sourcream & Cheese, Ham & cheese flavors) and some international "Lay's" flavors plus Russian "Lay's" flavor - Mushrooms & Sourcream.
In parts of South America (notably Argentina and Uruguay), Lay's flavored products are sold with the "Lay's Mediterraneas" label, and include such flavors as ham, tomato and basil, tomato Parmesan, and oregano. Peru has "Lay's Sabores Peruanos" (Lay's Peruvian Flavors), with flavors like queso andino (Andean cheese); also recently was released Lay's Dips, that includes a "Peruvian Criollo Chili" sauce sachet.
In Ukraine there is crab, bacon, cheddar, and sour cream and green onion
There are currently 12 regular Lay's flavors in Canada, though there are more, available only in certain parts of the country. The flavors available nationwide are the following: Classic (yellow), BarBQ (black), Salt & Vinegar (teal), Ketchup (dark red), Wavy Original (red), Dill Pickle (bright green), Smokey Bacon (brown), Sea Salt & Pepper (silver), Sour Cream & Onion (green), Roast Chicken (light brown) and finally Lightly Salted (bright blue). Also, in select Canadian markets Lay's has introduced international flavors such as "Spicy Curry" and "Wasabi" to appeal to a wider consumer group.
Lay's have entered the German market with some success in the last couple years. All 3 key Lay's brands are distributed with 2 flavors for each brand. The following flavors are marketed in Germany:
  • Lay's
    • Lay's Natural
    • Lay's Paprika (Bell Pepper)
  • Lay's Light
    • Lay's Paprika (Bell Pepper)
    • Lay's Salted/Natural
  • Lay's Sensations
    • Lay's Red Sweet Paprika (Bell Pepper)
    • Lay's Thai Sweet Chili

Nutritional information

As a snack food, the Lay's brands contain very few vitamins and minerals in any variety. At ten percent of the daily requirement per serving, vitamin C is the highest. Salt content is particularly high, with a serving containing as much as 380 mg of salt.
A one ounce (28 gram) serving of Lay's regular potato chips has 130 calories and contains ten grams of fat, with three grams of saturated fat. Kettle cooked brands have seven to eight grams of fat and one gram of saturated fat but are 140 calories. Lays Natural has nine grams of fat, two grams of saturated fat and 150 calories. Stax typically contain ten grams of fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat and are 160 calories per serving. Wavy Lays are identical to the regular brand except for a half-gram less of saturated fat in some combinations. The various brands do not contain any trans fats.
The baked variety feature 1.5 grams of fat per one ounce serving, and have no saturated fat. Each serving has 110 to 120 calories. Lay's Light servings are 75 calories per ounce and have no fat.
Lays Classic Potato chips were for a time cooked in 100% pure sunflower oil (originally hydrogenated oil until January 1st, 2007). Now the packaging lists sunflower and/or corn oil. With this latest oil formulation, a one ounce serving has 150 calories, 90 of which are from fat, 10 grams of fat, and 1 gram of saturated fat.
They have many flavors in the Baked Lays as well. Baked Lays are produced in cheddar, barbecue, sour cream and onion, and original.
seealso Olestra
lays in Spanish: Lay's
lays in Korean: 레이즈
lays in Dutch: Smiths Food Group
lays in Polish: Lay's
lays in Swedish: Lay's
lays in Thai: เลย์
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