When I worked in Frito-Lay Marketing and someone proposed a new product or program, the first question I always asked was: "What consumer problem are you trying to solve?" I'm sure people got tired of me asking the question, but it was extremely important because the best ideas are the ones that solve a problem or challenge, or fill a void for our loyal consumers.
The Doritos brand team has figured this out and realized a string of successes over the last few years as a result of filling a consumer gap with their new products and fun programs.
For example, Doritos stepped it up last year and introduced a new line of flavors under the Late Night umbrella, tapping into a key activity for young adults -- late-night eating.
"We've learned that snacking at night is important to our loyal consumers because they're usually hungry after a night out with friends, and it serves as a key social occasion to relax and unwind with those friends," Julia Wells (pictured below), an Associate Marketing Manager who works on Doritos innovation, told me. "The trick was to find out what they were eating at night and then turn those foods into delicious Doritos flavors."
For inspiration, the Doritos team turned to quick service restaurants to identify top late-night foods, and using this research, launched Late Night Tacos At Midnight and Late Night Last Call Jalapeno Popper. These were two of the most successful new products introduced last year at Frito-Lay. So, this year, they’re bringing another all-time favorite food, cheeseburger, to life with new Doritos Late Night All-Nighter Cheeseburger –- available in stores now.
"As it turns out, there are many different kinds of cheeseburgers. For example, a cheeseburger enjoyed at an afternoon barbeque usually has a lot of lettuce and tomato on it. So, we did a lot of testing to get the right balance of grilled meat, cheese, condiment and bun flavor, really creating the ideal late-night burger," Andrea Edwards, a Certified Culinary Scientist at Frito-Lay whose recipes have been featured on Snack Chat and who worked on the Late Night Cheeseburger flavor, told me. In the end, consumers told us what would make up the ideal blend of ingredients for a late-night burger, and that's what we targeted.
Doritos consumers are very passionate about their lives and about their snacking. I think they'll agree with me that the Doritos brand team has filled a void for late-night snackers and has another success on their hands with Late Night All-Nighter Cheeseburger. What do you think?