For the basic consumer, it’s hard to figure out what the next big food trend will be. We’re pretty much at the mercy of big brands and what flavors they decide to bestow upon us. Maybe they’ll be really popular like the Naked Chicken Chalupa (only to later fizzle out) or maybe they’ll be openly panned like Peep-flavored Oreos (probably because they stain your tongue) or comically despised like McDonald’s Pumpkin Spice Fries. It seems like new, strange flavors are unleashed every week and the public just sits there with their mouths agape, waiting to see what’s next. But, where do flavors like Flaming Hot Cheetos and Lays Wasabi Ginger potato chips come from?
Well, in the case of Lays, they came from a contest. But, surprisingly, many strange flavor ideas come from Nielsen. No, not Leslie Nielsen, the silver-haired star of Airplane! and The Naked Gun (although, we would vote for this universe), this Nielsen is the same one that keeps track of how many viewers are watching your favorite shows. They also have a service called Nielsen Quick Screen, — in which consumer goods makers can test products to see if consumers would actually buy them.
Recently, Nielsen unveiled the new service by testing 25 different flavor concepts. These flavor ideas were gleaned from current food trends such as “celebrating multicultural flavors,” “portable protein,” “sweet and spicy together,” and… “coconut jerky.” That’s a thing? What a world!
Anyway, these are the flavor-snack combos that gained the highest scores from the participants.
Brown Sugar & Spicy BBQ Potato Chips
This flavor idea doesn’t seem too far-fetched. Brown sugar barbeque isn’t too different from regular barbeque chips. But the addition of the spicy flavors (whatever it is) is what makes this flavor a real draw. Plus everyone loves the spicy sweet thing right now, it’s hotter than Hansel.