The ask:

Re-evaluate Frito-Lay’s chip market segments to help maintain the lead in the consumer chip category.


Frito-Lay currently dominates the chip category.  And the category itself is thriving too. Nearly nine in ten adults in the US have reported at least one purchase of chips in the past three months. 

Potato and tortilla chips have generated solid growth in recent years, driven by the increasing prevalence of snacking, a steady stream of new flavors, and the category’s status as a permissible indulgence. Frito-Lay’s current portfolio offers a variety of chips appealing to an array of preferences.

However, due to people becoming more and more concerned with the health implications of what they consume, and the growing popularity of “indie” or “craft” style chip brands who are following these current trends, Frito-Lay faces a growing threat they need to address to ensure they maintain their domination.

Segmentation study:

We conducted several different types of research including: social listening & secondary research, in-depth interviews, man-on-the-street interviews, and used this along with existing market research to guide our qualitative survey.

Through the results of our research, we  were able to define five distinct segments of consumers in the chip market that could help Frito-Lay determine their communication strategies and advertising campaigns moving forward.

segmentation study comfort seekers

Comfort Seeker:

“I view chips as a comfort food.”

“I eat chips to pass the time when watching TV.”

“When snacking, I often find that I can finish a bag in one sitting.”

segmentation study flavor adventurer

Flavor Adventurer:

“I enjoy trying new flavors of chips.”

“I’d choose flavor over brand of chip any day.”

“I love trying different flavors of chips when I travel abroad.”

segmentation study socialite chips

Socialite Chipper:

“Chips are for special occasions (parties, tailgates, life events).”

“I buy gourmet or “craft” brands over big, mainstream brands.”

“I strongly prefer kettle-style chips.”

segmentation texture cravers

Texture Craver:

“The texture of a chip is important to me.”

“I typically eat chips with dips or salsas.”

“I prefer traditional flavored chips over new, experimental flavors.”

Chip Skeptic:

“I think chips are bad for you.”

“I prefer to buy low-fat & low-calorie chips.”

“I don’t/wouldn’t give chips to my
children on a regular basis.”


Moving forward with these new segments, Frito-Lay should look to: augment the sensory experience for the Texture Cravers, create a campaign around comfort for the Comfort Seekers, entice the Flavor Adventurers with global flavor, stop sacrificing flavor for health for the Chip Skeptics, and appeal to the Chip Socialites with some exciting, new gourmet offerings.

Class:  Account Planning
Skills:  Market segmentation
Year:  2018
Teammates:  Bonni Dinerstien, Madison McCracken, Michelle McGuire