Finally, I Can Taste America from My Couch

Lay’s is targeting stay-at-home COVID travel restrictions by offering the best flavors of the country’s fast food delicacies to enjoy at home. Couch required. Mask optional. 

If I could get a refund on 2020 I would – it hasn’t been a pleasant year for many people, for a multitude of reasons. If the life threatening virus, political unrest, and murder hornets weren’t enough, the travel bans and quarantine requirements have made foodie travel a serious let down. Some might even say (especially the junk-food advocates here at Howard Davidson Marketing) that the lack of travel to some of the United States’ top food spots is by far the biggest drawback of our socially distanced year. 

I may hate country music, but do you know something I do love? Marketing of course,  but also Nashville’s hot chicken sandwiches. My Boston accent is too thick to fit into the boroughs of NYC, but their pizza? Wicked good. And I can’t in good conscience detail the gastrointestinal fallout of the last time I had street tacos in LA, but the flavors were almost worth the distress.


But the current restrictions on travel mean that the options open to me in for these food delicacies are limited-to-none. Arlington MA, is a great part of the city, but it doesn’t offer the junk-food-topia that other US cities can offer travelling taste buds. Lucky for us, Lay’s stepped in with a bit of smart marketing to help solve the problem we didn’t realize we had. 

Here’s a riddle for you: what tastes like potatoes, oil, and the best shaved steak and cheese on a bun you can get? Lay’s new Philly Cheesesteak Flavor Icons chip flavor, inspired by Geno’s Steaks in Philadelphia.

That’s not all they have up their salty, crumb-covered sleeve. Lay’s is taking the all-American route and hitting flavor profiles from 5 of the nation’s top food cities, citing specific flavor profiles like carnitas street tacos from El Torito in Marina Del Ray, CA; Chile Relleno from Cocina Azul in Albuquerque, NM; New York Style Pizza from Grimaldi’s in NYC; and the aforementioned Nashville Hot Chicken flavor hailing from Party Fowl in good ‘ole Nashville, TN. 

We tend to group cities in the US by a few things – attractions, culture, and most tasty; food. Everyone’s feeling the weight of the pandemic, especially wanderlust foodies trying to bring their Instagram to influencer status. And even those of us not just wanting to travel and eat some good grub for the ‘gram are getting a bit tired of the (hopefully) healthier options we can make at home. 

In a time where it’s hard to reach out and feel a connection with the rest of the country, being able to have a quick taste of another region’s local delicacy on the end of a potato chip feels distinctly American – especially since each flavor is the profile of one of the region’s most notable fast foods. 

Lay’s Flavor Profiles are a salty stab at quenching the greasy wanderlust many are facing on their couches today. Even if each flavor doesn’t end up a lip-smacking perfect knockoff of the original, beggars can’t be choosers as they lick flavor dust off their socially distanced fingers. 

Now I’m not saying fast-food flavored chips were ever a thing I asked for, but plopped on my couch and enjoying a bag or three has me realizing this might not be a bad idea. I thought my vacation plans were cancelled in 2020; turns out I can get a full blast of all-American culture from the comfort of my couch, with just a few bags of chips and Tiger King, no hidden airline fees included. I see this as a win-win. 

My nutritionist, however, may not agree. Oy, then there’s belly.

Howard Davidson


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