This summer, three new flavor-packed dishes were transformed into Lay's newest potato chips, all vying for a chance to be the next Lay's "Do Us a Flavor" contest champion. Consumers stepped up to the challenge by trying all three flavors and voting. Lay's — one of the marquee brands from PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division — named Lay's Crispy Taco this year's "Do Us a Flavor" winner.
Ellen Sarem, who submitted the idea and inspiration behind this year's winning flavor, will take home $1 million as part of her victory.
Sarem, a San Antonio native, drew inspiration for the Crispy Taco potato chip from her years of working hard to perfect her taco recipe for her now-fiancé. Her first attempt at making the dish was less than perfect, but her now-successful flavorful technique includes fresh ingredients like lettuce, tomato and cheese.
"This year's competition was fueled not only by great flavors, but also by the people and stories behind each one of them. We've now introduced a total of 14 flavors to America throughout this iconic contest and, if one thing has remained unchanged, it is that our fans have incredible ideas for the next flavors of Lay's," said Sarah Guzman, senior director of marketing, Frito-Lay. "We've been following along with the fan responses this year, and we are beyond excited to congratulate Ellen on her $1 million flavor idea – Crispy Taco."
When asked what she plans to do with the $1 million grand prize, Sarem said she is looking forward to taking a family vacation, while also setting something aside for her young son's future education. The two runner-up finalists will be walking away as winners too as Lindsay Hoffman from Palm City, Fla., who submitted Lay's Kettle Cooked Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese, and Gregory Pope from Charlotte, who submitted Lay's Wavy Fried Green Tomato, will each receive $50,000.