The great innovator in the potato chip arena was a gent named Herman W. Lay, who took the soon-to-be-iconic potato chip across the U.S., while retaining both its crispness and taste, not only when it arrived, but for weeks after.
It was under Lay’s tutelage that one of the great advertising slogans was created: “Betcha’ can’t eat just one!” This, of course, resulted in greatly increased sales and profits.
The H. W. Lay Co. merged with a west coast firm called Frito in 1962 and became Frito Lay, followed by a merger with Pepsi in 1965, becoming PepsiCo. Sadly, Lay passed in 1962 at the age of 82 — both a legend and a true genius!
Surely, it is next-to-impossible to imagine summer cookouts without potato chips, but they are truly a 12-month-a-year phenom — as good and popular at Christmas and New Year as on the Fourth of July.
So, how do you upsell potato chips? Why, it’s simple and easy: Place the shipper up front by the cooler, deli or most anywhere and watch them fly!
Still, management (and rightfully so) would never be satisfied with what we would call “the easy pickins!” Like every other great product, we run specials, and we innovate, just like Lay’s has with the likes of million-dollar awards to super-creative consumers who came forward with new flavor combinations like Chili Limon, Flamin’ Hot Honey, Barbecue Sweet Southern, Salt and Vinegar, Cheddar Jalapeño and Dill
Pickle. More recently, Lay’s and others came out with chips that feature reduced salt — another great idea that’s quickly becoming quite popular — a brilliant marketing strategy!
We as a retail industry must not take this phenomenal company’s “growth gift” for granted, nor should we stop promoting other customer favorites; we owe our best efforts to all of our vendors. When we are given discounts, we must pass them on to the consumer. When there are new products or flavors, we are responsible for trying them and not judging by our own flavor buds. Who among us would have bet on the success of the hula hoop, the Slinky or the Rubik’s Cube?
And, of course, ensure that your sales staff knows the basics: If we receive an opportunity to offer a “twofer” or “BOGO,” that means a company has given us a discount. Take advantage of that growth opportunity — and trust the thinking that went into it.
When a consumer brings a 12-pack of beer to the register, sales staff should always ask, “May I get you some chips with that beverage?” And if a customer brings a single BOGO to the counter, make sure employees encourage them to grab another like item.