Wasabi Ginger Will Be the Next Lay's Potato Chip Flavor

Rachel Tepper Paley

Photo credit: Lay’s

Hope you like snacks that pack a little heat, because the newest addition to the pantheon of Lay’s potato chip flavors is… Wasabi Ginger!

The entry to the brand’s annual “Do Us a Flavor” contest beat out Mango Salsa, Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, and—likely much to the relief of coffee expert Oliver Strand and Yahoo Readers everywhere—Cappuccino. The unique flavors have been on sale nationwide since late July, and chip lovers have been voting on them. We got the winner of the people’s choice award on the horn to tout her flavor combo. 

"I don’t really think it’s sunk in quite yet," the flavor’s creator, Meneko Spigner McBeth, told us. McBeth, a 35-year-old nurse at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, learned she won on Monday night, at a dinner for the finalists in New York City. She’ll take home either $1 million or a percentage of one year in Wasabi Ginger potato chip sales, whichever is more.

"It was inspired by my grandmother: She’s Japanese, and I grew up eating her sushi," McBeth said. "I wasn’t allowed to have the wasabi until I got older, and when I was [allowed to try it], I fell in love with it!" It wasn’t until college, though, that McBeth visited her "first real sushi restaurant" and became acquainted with pickled ginger. "The flavor of the two of them in combination, I love it. I said, ‘[Why not] try it on a chip? It can’t hurt!’"

And it didn’t. Perhaps the behavior of McBeth’s three daughters sums up the country’s collective positive reaction to the flavor: “I mean, they went through bags and bags and bags [of Wasabi Ginger chips]. And I said, ‘That’s enough! You guys cannot eat this for lunch and dinner every day!’”

As for that prize money? Most of it will go into a college fund for her daughters, but McBeth plans on one major splurge for herself.

"That’s probably [going to be] a sports car, because I’ve been driving a minivan for the past few years!" she said.

Go to town, Meneko. But one thing: A minivan fits way more bags of Wasabi Ginger potato chips than a sports car. Just saying.

For more potato chip stories, check these out:
A Coffee Expert Reviews Lay’s Cappuccino Potato Chips
Yahoo Readers Agree: Cappuccino Potato Chips Should Not Be a Thing
DIY Kettle Chips

What was your favorite ”Do Us a Flavor” entry? Do you think Wasabi Ginger was the right call? Let us know!