Voting for the 2014 Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” contest ended Oct. 18, and the flavor of one of the four finalists might surprise you: cappuccino.
The man behind the flavor is Chad Scott, an assistant professor from Las Vegas. Scott says he used his longtime involvement in the coffee world as an inspiration.
In fact, his first experiment involving coffee and potato chips took place when he was working at a coffee shop.
After scrounging around and finding some potato chips a snack, he followed a whim to dip a chip in his cappuccino.
“I liked the blend of salty and sweet,” he told a reporter from The Boston Globe.
Scott is a coffee connoisseur who orders his coffee from specialty roasters, grinds it in a top-quality grinder and brews it using only filtered water, giving him some credibility.
Even though coffee is extremely popular in America, with 65% of the population drinking coffee daily starting with breakfast, not all coffee lovers have been positive regarding the result of his contest submission.
Oliver Strand, a well-known coffee critic who writes for The New York Times, among other outlets, summed up responses by writing, “In what might be the only example of the Internet speaking with a single voice, bloggers and snack food pundits all seem to agree that the cappuccino-flavored potato chips introduced by Lay’s over the summer taste awful. They’re right.”
Strand attributes the flavor’s inclusion in the final four as an entertainment ploy, rather than a sincere culinary attempt. “The cappuccino … [is] in the running to make the others seem more reasonable,” he writes. “If the chips were on reality television, the cappuccino would be the delusional contestant who makes you cringe every time you watch.”
Scott has acknowledged that not everyone in the gourmet coffee world is pleased with his creation. “Sometimes I run into baristas and it’s like, ‘Cappuccino is not to be joked with. Cappuccino is serious business. What the heck are you doing?’” Scott told the Globe.
Despite their flavoring, the chips do not contain any real coffee or caffeine.
“I would never dive into coffee flavored chips, I saw these on the shelves and personally decided not to get these ourselves,” says says Anick, Customer Service Manager at Coffee Crafters. “There is no replacement for drinking a quality brewed cup of coffee.”
About the Contest
The contest asks for suggestions from the public, puts four into production, and allows the public to vote for the one they’d like continued. The creator of the winning flavor wins either a $1 million prize or 1% of the flavor’s net sales through July 1, 2015(whichever is higher).
The other three flavors up against cappuccino are bacon mac and cheese, wasabi ginger and mango salsa. Lay’s says results will be announced soon.