Well, it turns out that our predictions for Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” competition were a little off. Last week, the potato chip maker slipped us four mysterious bags containing the four finalists plucked from millions of submissions to its annual fan-submitted flavor contest. We made our best guesses: “Thanksgiving Stuffing,” “Sushi,” “Cheeseburger,” and “Truffle Parmesan.”
Today, Lay’s revealed their true identities to Yahoo Food: “Southern Biscuits and Gravy,” “Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro,” “New York Reuben,” and “Wavy West Coast Truffle Fries.”
Here’s what Lay’s told us about each flavor and its creator:
Flavor No. 1: Lay’s Southern Biscuits and Gravy
Submitted by: Hailey Green of Noblesville, Ind.
“As a travel agent, Hailey Green has many opportunities to sample local flavors when exploring a new city. She has a great appreciation for each locale’s ‘homemade style,’ because it reminds her of her own childhood, filled with memories of eating Southern food in her grandmother’s kitchen. One of Hailey’s favorite dishes is biscuits and gravy — a recipe that was handed down in her family generation after generation. Not surprisingly, this family-favorite also inspired her potentially million-dollar winning potato chip idea.”
Flavor No. 2: Lay’s Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro
Submitted by: James Wagner of Wichita Falls, Texas.
“James Wagner has been in the Air Force for more than 18 years, traveling the country and abroad, and discovering local tastes at each stop on his journey. While abroad, James discovered his fondness for Greek cuisine, so when he moved to Wichita Falls, Texas, he immediately sought out the closest gyro specialty restaurant. As it turns out, there is one right outside the Air Force base gate. His flavor inspiration comes from his regular visits to that restaurant.”
Flavor No. 3: Lay’s New York Reuben
Submitted by: Jeff Solensky of DuBois, Pa.
“Jeff Solensky helps manage a local restaurant in DuBois, Pa., where he pursues his true passion in life — food. Growing up in Long Island, N.Y., Jeff has fond memories of traveling into Manhattan to enjoy Broadway shows with his mother. A big part of that tradition was stopping by popular New York delis beforehand to enjoy signature, mouth-watering Reubens. Inspired by the delicious Reuben sandwiches of his childhood, Jeff came up with the idea to infuse those same flavors into a potato chip.”
Flavor No. 4: Lay’s Wavy West Coast Truffle Fries
Submitted by: Angie Fu of Irvine, Calif.
“Angie Fu, a native Californian, has had a passion for food and discovering local flavors from an early age. She very nearly went into culinary school, but instead opted to keep her love of flavor a hobby. When Angie is home, she is constantly in her kitchen, trying her hand at new dishes and sauces. But when Angie goes out to eat, she can’t say no to truffle fries, even seeking out restaurants in the area that put their own local twist on her favorite side.”
All four finalists found out they were in the running only a few hours before we did. On Tuesday, TV personality and recording artist Nick Lachey showed up on their doorsteps with the news: They’ll each have a chance at the competition’s $1 million grand prize, which goes to the flavor that earns the most consumer votes when they debut on store shelves nationwide later this month.
“It’s not every day you get to travel around the country surprising fans with the news they’ve got a one-in-four shot at a life-changing million dollar contest grand prize,” said Lachey in a Lay’s press release. “And what I quickly learned is that behind every delicious finalist flavor, there’s an even more delicious backstory. It’s been a thrill so far, and I can’t wait to return in October to help crown a winner.”
Voting officially begins on July 27 and runs through October 18 on the Do Us a Flavor website. Fans can also vote on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags #VoteTruffleFries, #VoteBiscuits, #VoteReuben, or #VoteGyro. Those preferring to vote over text message can text “VoteTruffleFries,” “VoteBiscuits,” “VoteReuben,” or “VoteGyro” to 24477 (CHIPS). Sorry, you’re only allowed one vote a day. The big winner will be unveiled sometime in October.
More about Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” contest:
Which flavor do you hope will emerge victorious?