Will organic Doritos boldly make it onto Whole Foods' shelves?
- Frito-Lay’s organic Doritos may soon be appearing in Whole Foods stores, according to Advertising Age. The new chip, which falls under the company’s Simply’line, meets all of the criteria to be sold at the upscale natural market.
- The Amazon/Whole Foods merger opens the door for larger CPG manufacturers like Frito-Lay to get on Whole Foods' shelves. Whole Foods previously didn’t favor the food giants, but Amazon sells the Simply snacks on-line, and may see it more favorably.
- "The notion of clean and simple is very important to a segment of consumers," Frito-Lay Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Saenz said in an interview with Advertising Age. "They're searching for that."
Organic Doritos. It’s almost an oxymoron. But PepsiCo's Frito-Lay is hoping it’s just the ticket to tap into an audience that eschewed their products long ago: organic shoppers.
It’s an attractive prospect for Frito-Lay. They can charge more for their organic chips and get new consumers all in one fell swoop. But first, they need to convince health-conscious customers it’s OK to put Doritos into their shopping cart.
The brand name Doritos is a strength for Frito-Lay in most grocery stores, but could be a hindrance at Whole Foods. The packaging for the Simply Doritos, Lay's and Tostitos looks quite different than that of their conventional counterparts. However, most stores still have those well-known brands front and center.
On the upside, the vast majority of consumers are familiar with these snacks, even if they’re not buying them. Some shoppers may be skeptical that the Simply Doritos really are organic. Also, it may be difficult for organic consumers to get over the mental block that tells them these chips are junk food.
It may behoove Frito-Lay to consider using a lesser known name for organic Doritos. Whole Foods customers could be more willing to give an upstart cheesy chip company a chance. It may seem counterintuitive to turn their back on such a recognizable brand, but a name change could attract more health-conscious shoppers.
Frito-Lay is prudent to develop organic lines of their popular snacks. They’re losing consumers on their lower end to private labels, as well as higher-end shoppers who are choosing healthier options. These changing consumer preferences are in turn driving innovation in the natural food category. Hence, organic Doritos.
If ever there were a time when Whole Foods may decide to allow large CPGs onto their store shelves, it would be now. The recent Amazon/Whole Foods merger means big changes for the grocery chain’s products. Expect to see more private label food and beverage products and more online sales. Amazon doesn’t have a moral problem with Frito-Lay; they already sell their Simply chips online. Also, Frito-Lay could be an attractive partner to Amazon because it can meet their high volume demand. Smaller brands more commonly found at Whole Foods may have trouble keeping up with Amazon’s production needs.