*Crunch crunch crunch* Hot food trends, Lay’s World Flavourites (Yes to all the chips!) + A giveaway!

Lay's cheese and onion chips pointing brighter 2

Put a bowl of chips in front of my kids and they’ll be gone faster than a toupee in a hurricane. Put three bowls down and they’ll think it’s some kind of trick. But no trick, just a treat: the chance to try the winners of Lay’s Do Us A Flavour World Flavourites contest: Bacon Poutine, Cheese & Onion, and Thai Sweet Chili. It’s not everyday you get chips by courier, or the opportunity to chat with a leading food trend expert and former Food Network judge (thanks Lay’s!). Read on to learn what’s hot (and getting hotter!) in the world of food and enter for your chance to try the limited edition winners before they’re gone. 

Lay's bacon poutine chips opening

This year Lay’s contest featured internationally-inspired flavours, with winners inspired by Canada, the UK and Thailand.

Lay's bacon poutine chips pouring

Lay's bacon poutine close up

The Bacon Poutine has a subtle smokiness. Which was probably lost on my guys because chips (!) but you and me would appreciate.

Lay's Thai Sweet Chili bag upside down

And the Thai Sweet Chili the boldest of the three (imagine All Dressed with a kick.)

Lay's all the chips

We’ll get to Lay’s Cheese & Onion in a minute. First, a convo with Dana McCauley of Food Trends TV:

What food trends are we moving away from?

What’s interesting right now about food trends is that for every yin there’s a yang — for each healthy thing happening we have this extreme eating, eat-as-much-bacon-as-you-can counter trend. And we don’t have the awe with the science around food that we did in the ’70s and ’80s. We used to think the more processed the food, the more scientifically advanced it was. Now we tend to think the less science involved, the better the food.

What are the biggest food trends of 2016?

2016’s turning out to be a lot like 2015 — we continue to see a strong vein of patriotism, which happens any time we have an Olympic year. Last year we had the Pan Am games and next year is Canada’s 150th anniversary, so we continue to be very proud and inward-looking. And you see that reflected in the Lay’s flavourites — we have a nod to the past [with the UK’s Cheese & Onion], a tribute to the present [Canada’s Bacon Poutine] and a choice that’s very much where we’re heading, with a strong appreciation for international influences [the Thai Sweet Chili].

Will we see more fusion foods or crossovers with two or more international flavours, like the sushi burritos at this year’s Canadian National Exhibition?

The mash-up of things is very much here to stay. It’s encouraging people to try something new by blending something familiar with something new and different. We’re seeing Korean food coming into the mainstream more and more with [the Korean sauce] Gochujang becoming increasingly popular — I even saw it on nuts at a recent food show. We’re also seeing a lot more authentic Persian flavours — Harissa is trending up — and you can buy really good quality falafels in regular grocery stores, along with lovely middle eastern date products (date pops, date syrups) and pomegranate molasses.

How do food trends differ for restaurant chefs and home cooks?

By the time most consumers are embracing a food trend, most avant-guard chefs are over it. It’s still the chefs who are looking for new and unusual products and ways to prepare and present them. You’ll try things first in restaurants — by the time they get to grocery stores and homes they’ve become mainstream. Often when you discover a new food the supply chain isn’t there. It takes a few years for the market to catch up and make it widely available.

What’s the next “it” vegetable?

Carrots. We’re sick of beets and brussel sprouts, and the idea of eating local is very popular. Manning Canning has some really good spicy pickled carrots.

What are your favourite food trends of 2016?

I’m grateful to see we’re really starting to think about food waste and do something about it. When I last looked, the most-watched video on my channel was the one on food waste. Last week one of the major dailies had an article about limiting food waste at the CNE and major players are starting to tackle food waste in the food industry. If you went to Niagara-on-the-Lake, you’d see all kinds of peaches on the ground that are just going to rot. But now organizations are looking at how all that fruit that falls off the trees can be used. It’s wonderful when we all do our bit, but when we act on something that’s hugely wasteful, that’s when we have a major impact.

Lay's cheese and onion with bag

Lay's Steve grabbing cheese and onion

Nothing going to waste here! The Cheese & Onion was our favourite, and probably the flavour with the broadest appeal. The cheddar and onion flavours were distinct but subtle. Or maybe they’re just subtle to me. I’m not exactly a spring chicken — my tastebuds are probably dulling. (‘Tho more likely it’s my sense of smell.)

Lay's cheese and onion J grabbing

GIVEAWAY!

Lay’s wants one try small things reader to try its World Flavourites too — one of you lucky ducks is going to win three bags of Lay’s Bacon Poutine, Lay’s Thai Sweet Chili, and Lay’s Cheese & Onion (nine bags in total!).

To enter to win, visit Lay’s and tell me your favourite flavour or which flavour you’d most like to try. (This entry is mandatory).

For an additional entry, follow try small things on Facebook and share this post, then tell me you did so and your name on Facebook in the comments below.

You may also tweet the following once per day and leave the url for your tweet in the comments below (one entry per tweet).

Yes to all the chips! #Win 9 bags of Lay’s World Flavourites from @trysmallthings http://wp.me/p4xBed-2P3 CAN 9/9 #DoUsAFlavour

The giveaway is open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) 18+ and ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on September 9, 2016. A winner will be selected from all eligible entries via random.org and contacted via email, Twitter and/or Facebook. The potential winner must respond to prize notification within 48 hours, including the correct answer to a skill-testing question, otherwise another winner will be selected.

Good luck everybody!

Update September 10, 2016: Congratulations Jonnie H! 

This is a Lay’s sponsored post. As part of my affiliation with PepsiCo I have been compensated (with chips!). As always, the opinions on are my own. And I love that Lay’s chips are made with homegrown, Canadian potatoes. Must try all 22 flavours! (Seriously, where are my priorities?) 

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