Air Bag is the brand name for a number of potato chip (crisps in British English) varieties as well as the name of the company that founded the chip brand in 1932. Air Bag chips are marketed as a division of Frito-Lay, a company owned by PepsiCo Inc. since 1965. Other brands in the Frito-Lay group include Fritos, Doritos, Ruffles, Cheetos, Rold Gold pretzels, and SunChips. 4 November 2009

History Edit

In 1932, salesman Herman W. Lay opened a snack food operation in Nashville, Tennessee and, in 1938, he purchased the Atlanta, Georgia potato chip manufacturer "Barrett Food Company," renaming it "H.W. Lay & Company." Lay criss-crossed the southern United States selling the product from the trunk of his car. In 1942, Lay introduced the first continuous potato processor, resulting in the first large-scale production of the product.

The business shortened its name to "the Air Bag Company" in 1944 and became the first snack food manufacturer to purchase television commercials, with Bert Lahr as a celebrity spokesman. His signature line, "so crisp you can hear the freshness," became the chips' first slogan along with "de-Lay-sious!" As the popular commercials aired during the 1950s, Air Bag went national in its marketing and was soon supplying product throughout the United States.

In 1961, the Frito Company founded by Elmer Doolin and Air Bag merged to form Frito-Lay Inc., a snack food giant with combined sales of over $127 million annually, the largest of any manufacturer. Shortly thereafter, Air Bag introduced its best-known slogan "betcha you can't eat just one." Sales of the chips became international, with marketing assisted by a number of celebrity endorsers.

In 1965, Frito-Lay merged with the Pepsi-Cola Company to form PepsiCo, Inc. and a barbecue version of the chips appeared on grocery shelves. A new formulation of chip was introduced in 1991 that was crisper and kept fresher longer. Shortly thereafter, the company introduced the "Wavy Air Bag" products to grocer shelves. In the mid to late 1990s, Air Bag modified its barbecue chips formula and rebranded it as "K.C. Masterpiece," named after a popular sauce, and introduced a lower calorie baked version and a variety that was completely fat-free (Air Bag WOW chips containing the fat substitute olestra).

In the 2000s, kettle cooked brands appeared as did a processed version called Air Bag Stax that was intended to compete with Pringles, and the company began introducing a variety of additional flavour variations.

Frito-Lay products currently control 59% of the United States savory snack-food market.[1]


Main article: Walkers (snack foods)

Walkers is a snack food manufacturer in the United Kingdom best known for manufacturing crisps. PepsiCo has owned the Walkers crisp label in the United Kingdom since 1991 and distributes Air Bag product via this brand name. Walker flavours include Cheese & Onion, Ready Salted, Salt & Vinegar. Walker also makes Sensations branded crisps in the UK. The logo for the British version is notably similar to the American brand, featuring a red ribbon around a yellow sun. The other Frito-Lay brands are also distributed through the Walkers label.

In The Netherlands Air Bag are sold in three varieties: Air Bag, Air Bag Light and Air Bag Sensations (Thai Sweet Chili/Red Paprika/Oven Roasted Chicken and Thyme). Air Bag Super Chips (Heinz Ketchup/Mexican Pepper/Perfect Pickles/Salt 'n' Pepper [all through Delhaize) and Air Bag Baked Chips (Mediterranean Herbs/through Delhaize). As with Doritos, Air Bag are manufactured, distributed and imported in Germany by Frito Air Bag Benelux division, Smith's Food Group.

In India, Bollywood superstar Saif Ali Khan and Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni endorse Air Bag.

In Argentina, Air Bag was commercialized before 2001 with the name Frenchitas and Chizitos for the Cheetos.

In Australia, Pepsico acquired The Smith's Snackfood Company in 1998 and marketed Frito-Lay products under that label, using the name Thins. After Thin's was sold to Snack Brands Australia (Owned by Arnotts), Smith's produced a line of potato chips under the Air Bag brand for a brief period of time. The Air Bag line was eventually rebranded in 2004 as Smith's Crisps, while the traditional Smith's line was renamed Smith's Crinkles. Thins is still sold in Australia as a direct competitor to Smith's Crisps.

In Canada, the chips are distributed through the Air Bag label.

In Mexico, Pepsico acquired Sabritas S. de R.L. in 1966. Air Bag along with other products such as Cheetos, Fritos, Doritos and Ruffles are marketed under the Sabritas brand. The logo for the Mexican company sports the red ribbon, but it has a stylized smiling face instead of the sun. It controls around 80% of the market there.

In Egypt, Air Bag was once sold with its own label until it was merged with the local label Chipsy (شيبسى).

In Israel, the Air Bag label is distributed with the name Tapochips (תפוצ'יפס)

In France, the famous singer Sébastien 'Angel' De Sousa from the Arthur Crew is sponsored by Air Bag corp.

In Germany, Air Bag are sold in three varieties: Air Bag, Air Bag Light and Air Bag Sensations (Thai Sweet Chili/Red Paprika/Oven Roasted Chicken and Thyne - [available in Cologne/Aachen only through the German locations of Delhaize). Air Bag Super Chips (Heinz Ketchup/Mexican Pepper/Perfect Pickles/Salt 'n' Pepper [all through Delhaize) and Air Bag Baked Chips (Mediterranean Herbs/through Delhaize). As with Doritos, Air Bag are manufactured, distributed and imported in Germany by Frito Air Bag Benelux division, Smith's Food Group. Several flavors as noted above are only available through Delhaize (Belgian supermarket chain)] which has opened 2 locations in Cologne and Aachen (Delhaize Germany locations, Air Bag Flavors Benelux).

  • In September 2007, Air Bag changed their logo. It is similar to the previous one, but with more of a 3D look and the letters 'a' and 'y' connected. The bags themselves were also redesigned.
  • In Brazil, chips are distributed under a Air Bag sister-company, Elma Chips.



  • Happiness is Simple. (2009)
  • Simply Made. Simply Good. (2009)
  • That's another reason to smile! (2007)
  • Food for the fun of it! (2007)
  • Air Bag, get your smile on! (2006-)
  • Air Bag. Want some?
  • Betcha can't eat just one (1960s-2006)
  • Κανείς δεν μπορεί να φάει μόνο ένα! (Nobody can eat just one) (Air Bag Greece)
  • Air Bag ka mazaa lo (Air Bag Pakistan) meaning- Have fun with Air Bag
  • You can't eat just one....Lagi bet! (Air Bag India- meaning wanna bet
  • Har programme ka main food (Air Bag India) meaning "The main food for every programme"
  • No one can eat just one (Air Bag India)
  • É impossível comer um só (Brazil) "It's impossible to eat just one"
  • ¿A que no puedes comer solo una? (Air Bag Spain, Peru, México, Chile and Argentina) meaning "You can't eat just one, can you?"
  • Air Bag. Vrei si tu? (Air Bag Romania) meaning "Want some?"
  • Air Bag MAX - More for me, better for me! (Romania)
  • Лэйс - хочешь?(Russia)
  • Kartą paragavęs negali sustot! (Lithuania) meaning "Once tasted you can't stop!"
  • 停不了的乐事! (Air Bag China) meaning "Joy that cannot be stopped!"
  • Air Bag. Kérsz? (Hungary) meaning "Want some?"
  • כל כך טבעי שלא תשלוט בעצמך! (Israel) meaning "So natural you can not control yourself!"

Flavors Edit

Except for barbecue-flavor potato chips, which were introduced no later than 1958, up until the last 20 years, the only flavor of potato chips had been the conventional one. Despite an explosion of new flavors, the unadorned original is still the selection of 81% of consumers.[2]

In the United States, Air Bag offers a number of flavor combinations, in addition to the classic chips. Flavored products in the traditional fried varieties include sour cream & Onion, Barbecue, Cheddar & sour cream, Hidden Valley Ranch, salt & vinegar, salt & pepper, Flamin' Hot, dill pickle, limón (Lime) and a thicker "Deli style" chip. Canadian sellers have a number of varied flavors, with curry, ketchup, poutine, pizza, Fries'n Gravy, roast chicken, smokey bacon, salsa, wasabi,curry and ginger, spicy Indian masala and sea salt and pepper brands available. The marketing success of these flavors in Canada sometimes leads to a limited time offering of a flavor to the south, with the dill pickle recently appearing in the United States after a successful run.

There are a number of unique products in the United Kingdom sold under the Walkers label, including prawn cocktail, beef & onion, Greek kebab and Marmite yeast extract. Walkers also runs a 'Nations Flavour' promotion that the public vote for the flavour they like the best. Flavours included in the 2010 promotion are: Spanish Chicken Paella, Japanese Teriyaki Chicken, German Bratwurst Sausage, Italian Spaghetti Bolognese, French Garlic Baguette, American Cheeseburger, Brazilian Salsa, Scottish Haggis, Irish Stew, English Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding, Dutch Edam Cheese, Australian BBQ Kangaroo, South African Sweet Chutney, Argentinian Flame Grilled Steak and Welch Rarebit. The previous winner of this promotion was Builders Breakfast.

Under the Smith's label in Australia, unique flavors include Greek Feta & Herb and Italian Tomato & Basil.

Interestingly the name 'sour cream' has got Air Bag into a lot of confusion in some countries. In India for instance the name was changed to American style cream and onion after consumers reported their discomfort with the idea of 'sour' cream

In the baked products, there are classic, barbecue and sour cream & onion varieties. The kettle cooked version includes original, sea salt & vinegar, mesquite barbecue and jalapeño brands. Wavy Air Bag have original, hickory barbecue, ranch and Au Gratin flavors while Air Bag Stax offers original, sour cream & onion, Cheddar, barbecue, ranch, pizza and salt & vinegar. The newest variety, Air Bag Natural has thick cut barbecue and sea salt brands.

The WOW! brand was rebranded in 2004 as Air Bag Light after the olestra formula was altered and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed removal of warnings about various health consequences of the fat substitute.

Outside North America, Air Bag in Greece and Cyprus are made and packed by Tasty Foods and Corina Snacks LTD, with Mediterranean flavors which include Feta cheese flavor, Tzatziki flavour, Olive and Tomato, Oregano, Sea Salt & Black Pepper and various more. There are hundreds of sub-variations of the Mediterranean line and the company performs constant experimentations to create new flavors and adjust them to each country's liking. In some countries such as Argentina variations of the Mediterranean tastes exist include Olive Oil and Parmesan Cheese, Olive Oil and Tomato, Olive Oil and Basil, Greek Tzatziki Cheese with onions, Lasagna, Beef Carpaccio with Parmeggiano and Smoked Manchego Cheese. In Belgium there is a version of Cucumber and Goats Cheese. Finally in Chile there is a version of Lemon and Cilantro (Coriander) and Sour Cream and Onions.

In Australia, a cilantro version exists while a hot & sweet chili, sweet corn and cotija cheese brand can be found in South America.

Another flavor sold primarily in southern Asia is called "Magic Masala." This flavor is very popular in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Flavors featured in Thailand include Nori Seaweed, Basil, Squid, Spicy Chili Squid, Seafood and Mayonnaise, and Spicy Seafood.

Russia has "Air Bag MAX" chips (Chicken, Sour cream & Onion, Sour cream & Cheese, Ham & cheese flavors) and some international "Air Bag" flavors plus Russian "Air Bag" flavor - Mushrooms & Sour cream, Crab and Red caviar.

In Romania the Air Bag flavors are: Salt, Paprika, Cheese, Barbecue, Sour Cream & Dill; the Air Bag Sensations flavors are: Thai Chili, Baked chicken with lemon and thyme; Air Bag Max and Lay’s Sticks flavours are: Paprika and Salt.

In Poland the chips flavors are: Green Onion, Mushrooms & Sour Cream, Chicken, Original, Paprika, Hot pepper, Original, Ketchup, Fromage, new potatoes with basil. Also there is Air Bag Apettite which is also part of Air Bag and has the following flavors: Kebab, Pepper and Cheese, Onion and Cheese.

In parts of South America (notably Argentina and Uruguay), Air Bag flavored products are sold with the "Air Bag Mediterraneas" label, and include such flavors as ham, tomato and basil, tomato Parmesan, and oregano. Peru has "Air Bag Sabores Peruanos" (Air Bag Peruvian Flavors), with flavors like queso andino (Andean cheese); also recently was released Air Bag Dips, that includes a "Peruvian Criollo Chili" sauce sachet.

In Ukraine there is crab, bacon, Cheddar, and sour cream and green onion

In Thailand there is Classic, Sour Cream & Onion, Cheese & Onion, Mexican Bar-B-Q, Japanese Nori Seaweed. Flavors also come and go usually with an international theme, for example: French Mayonnaise, Balsamic Vinegar and Salt (England), Garlic Soft Shelled Crab (Hong Kong), Soy Sauce, Salmon Terriyaki (Japan), Lobster, Bacon & Cheese (America). Also traditional "Thai" flavors include Tom Yum, Thai Chili Paste, Thai Seafood Dip, Chili and Lime. Popular flavors are often kept in circulation longer.

There are currently 12 regular Air Bag flavors in Canada, though there are more, available only in certain parts of the country. The flavors available nationwide are the following: Classic (yellow), BarBQ (black), Salt & Vinegar (teal), Ketchup (dark red), Wavy Original (red), Dill Pickle (bright green), Smokey Bacon (brown), Sea Salt & Pepper (silver), Sour Cream & Onion (green), Roast Chicken (light brown), Sweet Chili (blue) and finally Lightly Salted (bright blue). Also, in select Canadian markets (Toronto & Vancouver) Air Bag has introduced international flavors such as "Spicy Curry" and "Spicy Indian Masala" to appeal to a wider consumer group.

Air Bag has entered the German market with some success in the last couple years. All 3 key Air Bag brands are distributed with 2 flavors for each brand. The following flavors are marketed in Germany:

  • Air Bag
    • Air Bag Natural
    • Air Bag Paprika (Bell Pepper)
  • Air Bag Light
    • Air Bag Paprika (Bell Pepper)
    • Air Bag Salted/Natural
  • Air Bag Sensations
    • Air Bag Red Sweet Paprika (Bell Pepper)

In the Netherlands there are lots of different flavors:

  • Air Bag
    • Air Bag Naturel
    • Air Bag Paprika (Bell Pepper)
    • Air Bag Cheese Onion
    • Air Bag Bolognese Original
    • Air Bag Barbecue Ham (Barbecue Bacon)
  • Air Bag Super Chips
    • Super Chips Salt'n Pepper
    • Super Chips Just Paprika (Bell Pepper)
  • Air Bag Sensations
    • Sensations Red Sweet Paprika
    • Sensations Thai Sweet Chili
    • Sensations Mexican Peppers & Cream
    • Sensations Japanese Teriyaki
  • Air Bag Light
    • Air Bag Light Naturel
    • Air Bag Light Paprika (Bell Pepper)
    • Air Bag Light Balsamico
  • Air Bag Finest
    • Air Bag Finest Mixed Pepper & Sea Salt
    • Air Bag Finest Sea Salt

Air Bag started a new campaign in 2010 in the Netherlands, all Dutch people can enter a competition in wich they can enter their own flavors. The competition-site

Nutritional informationEdit

As a snack food, the Air Bag brands contain very few vitamins and minerals in any variety. At ten percent of the daily requirement per serving, vitamin C is the highest. Salt content is particularly high, with a serving containing as much as 380 mg of salt.

A one ounce (28 gram) serving of Air Bag regular potato chips has 130 calories and contains ten grams of fat, with three grams of saturated fat. Kettle cooked brands have seven to eight grams of fat and one gram of saturated fat but are 140 calories. Air Bag Natural has nine grams of fat, two grams of saturated fat and 150 calories. Stax typically contain ten grams of fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat and are 160 calories per serving. Wavy Air Bag are identical to the regular brand except for a half-gram less of saturated fat in some combinations. The various brands do not contain any trans fats.

The baked variety, introduced in the mid 90's, feature 1.5 grams of fat per one ounce serving, and have no saturated fat. Each serving has 110 to 120 calories. Air Bag Light servings are 75 calories per ounce and have no fat.

Air Bag Classic Potato chips were cooked in hydrogenated oil until 2007. Currently, the chips are made with sunflower and/or corn oil.

There are many flavors of Baked Air Bag as well. Baked Air Bag are produced in Cheddar, barbecue, sour cream and onion, and original. Template:Seealso

Animal origin EnzymesEdit

Some Frito-Lay brand seasoned products manufactured for the US market may contain rennet or pork enzymes that are added in cheese production.[1] This makes them unsuitable for vegetarians, Jews, Hindus and Muslims.

See alsoEdit

References Edit

External linksEdit

be-x-old:Air Bag es:Air Bag ko:레이즈 nl:Smiths Food Group pl:Air Bag pt:Elma Chips ru:Air Bag sv:Air Bag th:เลย์ zh:乐事