A mock board room exercise led St. Clair College marketing students to invent nearly 200 new flavours for one of the industry’s most iconic potato chip brands.
Nicole Rourke, a marketing professor at St. Clair, recently posed a challenge to her Introduction to Canadian Marketing class – develop as many new flavours of potato chips as possible for Lay’s, a 75-year-old potato chip brand.
“We were talking about New Product Development and how you have to brainstorm and how there is no such thing as a bad idea," Rourke said. "The next class, we discussed how there are so many weird and unique chip flavours these days, so I told them all to bring in a new chip flavour and then we acted as if we were in the Lay’s board room,” Rourke said. “We separated into groups and did some market research before I asked them to come up with as many different chip flavours as possible before picking out the ones they thought would work. From there, each group narrowed it down to their best two or three flavours."
Rourke was so impressed by the large volume of options her students produced that she decided to email the list of potential new chip flavours to Lay’s headquarters for feedback.
“To me, the most rewarding part was seeing a lot of these students think outside the box,” Rourke said. “This exercise really sparked their creativity which has been hard to do during the pandemic.”
St. Clair student Ireland Clarke believes the mock board room exercise was a valuable learning opportunity and something that should be continued for future marketing students.
“This exercise allowed us students to engage in how a new product is discovered from the product life cycle. We took the time in class to analyze the various chip flavours and work in our small groups to come up with new chip flavours that could be a potential new flavour in the world,” Clarke said. “After analyzing the chips, we took the time to look at different target markets and what would grasp the attention of a chip consumer. After every group presented the many chip flavors they came up with, we all took votes and what kind of new chip would be the best flavour that will attract new consumers.”
Some of the new flavours of potato chips developed by St. Clair marketing students include: Pineapple BBQ, Shawarma, Spicy Mayo, Ginger-Garlic, Mixed Olives & Jalapenos, Grilled Cheese & Sriracha, Pancakes & Maple Syrup, Funnel Cake, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Matcha, Pumpkin Spice, Burger King Special Sauce, Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wing, Spinach & Asiago, Wasabi, Steak & Mushrooms, Caesar Salad, Butter Chicken, Spicy Curry, Red Pepper, Lemon & Chickpeas, Peanut Butter & Jelly and Nutella.
- Brett Hedges