Nobody has ever praised Doritos for their nutritional value. While other chips get all dressed up in whole wheat and forgo the nuclear particles that presumably go into creating “cheese” that orange, Doritos come as they are and invite you to do the same, then lick your fingers once you’re done. But that could all change now that Frito-Lay has developed artificial ingredient-free versions of its biggest chip brands in an effort to move from its traditional junk food-aisle stomping grounds to organic grocery stores—like the one that famously just got acquired by Amazon.
PepsiCo executive Jonathan McIntyre told Bloomberg that the “Simply” lineup, which includes 11 of Frito-Lay’s most popular brands, meets all the criteria required to be sold at Whole Foods, but there’s still the question of whether the organic megastore will embrace the company’s shift toward the health-conscious. Frito-Lay’s reputation might precede itself as a leader in the junk food category, even when more wholesome changes are being made, but the Amazon takeover could bode well.
“Amazon’s acquisition makes it much more likely that Whole Foods will carry these better-for-you brands,” even if they come from massive makers of consumer-packaged goods, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst Ali Dibadj told Bloomberg. “The smaller brands just can’t keep up with the spending and velocity required from Amazon anymore. We expect Whole Foods to carry more—and more big brands, too.” Indeed, Amazon already gave shoppers a taste of the changes it plans to make this week when it slashed prices on coveted goods like organic avocados and responsibly farmed salmon, and reportedly began stacking its Echo devices right next to the groceries.
PepsiCo has declined to discuss its relationship with retailers, including Whole Foods, but Frito-Lay Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Saenz said, “Some of the feedback we hear often is, ‘An organic Dorito? Really?’” No, but really: Is a Dorito still a Dorito when you can find it at Whole Foods stripped bare of its signature radioactive cheese powder and genetically modified corn?