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Frito-Lay 'Local' Chip Campaign Features Michigan Potato Farmers

Snack company rebranding effort lands in Michigan.

Article from Michigan Farmer

Two faces from third-generation, family-owned Walther Farms in Three Rivers are among the new faces of a nationwide Frito-Lay marketing campaign aimed at "celebrating local people (and the) communities behind America's favorite potato chips."

Brothers Brian and Gary Walther represent Walther Farms, which is one of five potato farms featured in the "Lay's Local" campaign for Lay's Potato Chips. Thirty-second national and regional television ads featuring the Walthers will begin airing May 18.

"While Lay's Potato Chips have been one of the most popular snacks since they were introduced, what people might not realize is how many communities across the country play a role in the creation of America's favorite potato chip. The truth is we are closer to home than people might expect," said Dave Skena, vice president of potato chip marketing for Frito-Lay North America.

"People have an interest in knowing where their products are made and share a sense of pride knowing the role they play in a success story like Lay's Potato Chips, and our hope is that this campaign helps put a spotlight on these communities and demonstrates the appreciation we have for their contributions," Skena added.

Walther Farms has grown potatoes for Lay's Potato Chips since 1975 and received the company's prestigious Potato Supplier of the Year Award in 2008.

Brian Walther, who manages the business's southwest Michigan production area, said Walther Farms is honored to be spotlighted in the campaign, noting that it's an extraordinary opportunity to promote Michigan agriculture and the state's family farms. Michigan farmers grew more than 472 million pounds of potatoes for Frito-Lay last year.

The "Lay's Local" campaign also ties in with the farm's mission statement, which is "to be a leader in agribusiness that promotes sustainable excellence and innovation in our practices and in our service to our people, community, customers and environment."

Walther Farms began in the 1940s as a backyard hobby farm with a few vegetable acres. Today it involves multiple family members and boasts 8,000 acres of commercial and seed potatoes grown throughout the United States for the potato chip and fresh table stock markets.

The majority of acres are farmed in southwest Michigan. Seed potatoes are grown in Gaylord in northern Lower Michigan and in Newberry in the eastern Upper Peninsula. Commercial operations are located in central Michigan, southern Illinois and Indiana and western Texas, as well as the panhandle and mid sections of Florida.

The comprehensive "Lay's Local" marketing campaign will also include national print advertising, on-pack messaging and 40,000 in-store displays. The brand also will participate in more than 50 local market events throughout the country. The other farmers featured in the campaign are from California, Florida, Maine, and Texas.

Lay's Chip Tracker

As part of its "local" emphasis, Lay's Chips also operates an online Chip Tracker which enables consumers to enter product info from a bag of Lay's chips and learn the state where the chips were made. The Chip Tracker also features an interactive map of the United States which enables consumers to see where Lay's potatoes are grown and processed, and learn state-specific information by clicking on a state. The Chip Tracker can be found at


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