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9 Secrets About Lay's Chips You Never Knew

The beloved potato chip brand has been around for decades, but did you know these facts?

Look, potato chips are delicious. They are "rich," so to speak, in fat and salt—two nutrients that the human body evolved to crave. However, this also means that you should probably relegate potato chips to a rare snack instead of having them as part of your daily diet.

Still, there's no denying that Americans love a good potato chip, especially from one of the most iconic brands: Lay's. What started as H.W. Lay selling chips from the back of his Model A car in the 1930s has evolved into a behemoth chip brand today.

Here's everything you probably never knew about Lay's potato chips, and next, don't miss Costco's Most Popular Items Right Now.

The brand is owned by a department of PepsiCo.

fritos bag
mikeledray / Shutterstock

That's right, Frito-Lay North America—the company Mr. Lay founded with the maker of Fritos corn chips—is owned and operated by PepsiCo. Frito-Lay is a $13 billion dollar business for the beverage and convenience food giant and produces such other iconic chip brands as Doritos, Cheetos, Sun Chips, Tostitos, Funyuns, Ruffles, Smartfood, and more.

Lay's sources its potatoes from all over.

south dakota potatoes

According to ABC News, Lay's sources the potatoes used to make its chips from 25 different states, with Michigan and Wisconsin being its largest suppliers in 2018.

But the potatoes are a special strain.

frito lays sign

Lay's potato chips are produced using a proprietary strain of potatoes–so proprietary, it turns out, that the global snack food behemoth got into it with a number of small-scale farmers in India who were allegedly growing "their" spuds, reports CNN. Lay's sued the farmers in 2019 to force them to cease production, and later, offered to settle the matter if the farmers would grow for Lay's… or grow different potatoes.

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Lay's chips are high in sodium.

chips sodium

You know potato chips are salty, that's hardly a revelation. Still, just how salty they are may come as a shock.

According to the labeling of a single eight-ounce bag of Lay's Classic potato chips, that bag will net you 1,360 milligrams of sodium, which is way more than half of your daily allotment of 2,300 milligrams, per the CDC.

… and fat.

all lays chips

According to the Cleveland Clinic, a healthy adult on a 2,000-calorie diet should consume no more than 77 grams of fat per day, and no more than 13 or 14 grams of saturated fat. An eight-ounce bag of Lay's Classic chips, however, has 80 grams of fat and about 12 grams of saturated fat.

Baked Lay's aren't necessarily a good substitution.

baked lays
melissamn / Shutterstock

Sure, Baked Lay's are "healthier" than standard deep-fried Lay's potato chips, but know that a single 100-calorie bag of Baked Lay's (and that's a very small portion, FYI) has three grams of fat and 140 milligrams of sodium.

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Lay's once released Cappuccino-flavored chips.

Cappuccino lays

Lay's once produced and sold Cappuccino-flavored potato chips. The limited run was part of a contest wherein Lay's fans could submit flavor ideas and then vote on their absolute favorite, according to Grub Street. Cappuccino won, and the chip giant had to follow through with making them.

Listed serving sizes are very small.

chips serving size

Take a closer look at the nutrition information label on a bag of Lay's potato chips.

The classic, single-serve-sized bag, for instance, contains eight ounces of chips, yet if you look at the servings listed per container, it's eight. So sure, 160 calories and 10 grams of fat may seem OK, but if you eat the whole bag, you'll need to times that by eight.

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There's a science to "Bet you can't eat just one."

you can't eat just one

Lay's came up with a clever slogan with "bet you can't eat just one," but it turns out that they weren't just being cute.

According to Men's Health, the very crunchiness of a Lay's potato chip, a "virtue" the brand does its best to promote, leads to a physiological association with positivity and enjoyment, which makes us yearn for more crunch. That's why it's so hard to eat just one potato chip.

Steven John
Steven John is a freelancer writer for Eat This, Not That! based just outside New York City. Read more about Steven
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