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Frito-Lay adds to low-sodium snack lineup

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PLANO, Texas — PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America business unit has introduced two new varieties of Lightly Salted chips.

PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America business unit has introduced two new varieties of Lightly Salted chips.

Fritos Lightly Salted corn chips and Ruffles Lightly Salted potato chips join Lay’s Lightly Salted potato chips, which were launched in 2000 in select markets but expanded to national distribution beginning in 2010, Frito-Lay said Monday. With at least 50% less sodium per 1 ounce serving than their original counterparts, Lightly Salted varieties give consumers lower-sodium snack options, according to the company.

Lightly Salted products are available nationally in supermarkets and other mass market retail chains. Lay’s Lightly Salted and Ruffles Lightly Salted potato chips are priced at $3.99 per 10-ounce and 10.5-ounce bags, respectively. Fritos Lightly Salted corn chips are priced at $2.99 for 9.25-ounce-bags.

"The No. 1 request from consumers is for lower-sodium versions of the snacks they love most. However, they are unwilling to compromise on taste," stated Ann Mukherjee, chief marketing officer for Frito-Lay North America. "Lightly Salted meets that consumer need. We will continue to build on this effort and look to deliver even more great-tasting options for those consumers focused on sodium."

Frito-Lay said that, in general, snack chips are moderate in sodium. For example, its Lay’s Classic potato chips contain 180 mg per 1 ounce serving (about 15 chips), which is comparable to a slice of bread. The new Fritos Lightly Salted Corn Chips and Ruffles Lightly Salted Potato Chips each have 160 mg of sodium per 1 ounce serving.

"Many consumers believe Frito-Lay snack chips are high in sodium, but they are often surprised to learn that is not the case," explained Mike Zbuchalski, group vice president of R&D for Frito-Lay North America. "Because the salt is sprinkled on the outside of the snack chip, the salt flavor is prominent compared to foods where the salt is cooked within."

According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report released earlier this month, Americans ages 2 or older consume on average 3,436 mg of sodium per day, more than double the committee’s recommendation of less than 1,500 mg (about two-thirds of a teaspoon of table salt), according to Frito-Lay.

"Since many foods have sodium baked in, you can’t always trust your taste buds. That’s why it’s so important for consumers to read the nutrition label — they’ll be surprised to learn the various sources of sodium in their diet," Joanne "Dr. Jo" Lichten, author of Dr. Jo’s No Big Deal Diet, said in a statement released by Frito-Lay.