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 PLANO, Texas, March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Frito-Lay, Inc. announced today the national introduction of new Doritos Tortilla Thins, a potato chip-thin tortilla chip that has tested more successfully than any other Frito-Lay product and is estimated to generate $450 million in total retail sales during its first year of national distribution. In its first 12 months, Doritos Tortilla Thins' sales are expected to triple the combined sales of all new salty snacks introduced last year, and the brand is targeted to become the fourth largest salty snack in America following Frito-Lay's leading brands, Doritos, Ruffles and Lay's.
 In conjunction with the national roll-out, Frito-Lay also announced that it will support the new chip with an unprecedented $100 million support campaign, including a $50 million Hollywood-style marketing campaign that officially debuts during the 65th Annual Academy Awards telecast on ABC-TV on Monday, March 29. To herald the new chip, Frito- Lay produced a special :60-second TV commercial, starring a 250-member cast with a symphony orchestra and full chorale, to air during the broadcast. The Oscar ceremony draws the second largest annual TV viewing audience behind the Super Bowl.
 "Baby boomers are the first generation that's literally grown up snacking on chips," said Steve Reinemund, CEO and President, Frito-Lay, Inc. "Today, boomers continue to snack but the older, front-line wave are looking for a more contemporary, lighter tasting chip to fit their current lifestyles. The overwhelming consumer response in our test markets makes us confident that Doritos Tortilla Thins is the right answer."
 In the Tulsa and Omaha test cities, Doritos Tortilla Thins grew to rank among the top 10 salty snacks within just four months (Tulsa No. 6, Omaha No. 9), and captured 6.5 percent market share in Tulsa and 3.5 percent in Omaha.
 Commenting on Frito-Lay's unique marketing push behind Doritos Tortilla Thins, Steve Liguori, Vice President, Brand Marketing, said, "Consumers told us that Tortilla Thins is a star, so we deliberately created a campaign worthy of a new star. It's a campaign in the mold of an epic Hollywood film release and includes everything from the overall 'look,' to a first 'tease,' even to how we 'pamper' our star."
 Featuring the lavish scale of a major motion picture, the Doritos Tortilla Thins commercial was directed by Joe Pytka, whose clients include Pepsi-Cola and Nike, and was choreographed by Vince Patterson, whose credits include the Lay's Super Bowl Halftime Show with Michael Jackson, Steven Spielberg's "Hook," and the Ray Charles/Diet Pepsi "Uh- Huh!" commercials. The new spot marks the first ad production for Frito-Lay by Alan Pottasch, who is known as the "father of the Pepsi Generation" advertising, and who recently began consulting for the PepsiCo snack food division. BBDO/NY created and produced the ad for Frito-Lay.
 Prior to the Oscar launch, the marketing campaign begins with a sneak preview of a specially produced Doritos Tortilla Thins "coming attraction" movie trailer that is being shown in over 7,300 theaters across the country. The :30-second commercial will also air on a network TV roadblock on March 28 during the ABC, CBS and NBC's "Sunday Night Movies." Tracy-Locke, Inc., a DDB Needham agency, created and produced the trailer.
 Frito-Lay's strategy also includes a massive in-theater and store sampling program to put Doritos Tortilla Thins in the hands of more than 8 million consumers before Thins' debut during the Academy Awards broadcast. The company retained Michel-Russo, a Hollywood design firm specializing in movie posters to produce a special Thins' "one-sheet" for theaters, and also developed an Oscars viewing guide for added visibility in connection with the sampling. A special effort to sample an additional five million people within 72 hours of the March 29 launch will occur via national, full-page print ads in PEOPLE magazine (March 26 issue) and USA TODAY (March 29) that offer a coupon for a free bag of Doritos Tortilla Thins.
 The introductory campaign rounds out with national billboard advertising in the top 50 markets, a promotion with Channel One, and continued sampling during
the year. Frito-Lay also hired comedian/actor Tim Conway to re-create his character, "Dorf," for an internal training video, titled "Handle Like Eggs," that instructs company associates how to move the chips carefully and prevent breakage.
 Doritos Tortilla Thins is expected to play a major role accelerating the growing trend of Americans' preference for tortilla chips versus potato chips. Frito-Lay predicts their new product is likely to help tortilla chips unseat potato chips as Americans' preferred number one snack by the year 2000. In the Tulsa test, Doritos Tortilla Thins helped drive total tortilla chip consumption past potato chips for the first time ever --reversing a 14 percent lead in potato chip pound sales versus tortilla chips to a two percent deficit in less than six months. In 1991, consumers crunched over a billion pounds of tortilla chips to grow the category almost seven percent and generate more than $2.5 billion in retail sales. For the same period, potato chip sales grew just over one percent, as Americans consumed a billion and a half pounds for sales of over $4 billion.
 Frito-Lay's new chips were specifically designed with one-third less thickness than traditional tortilla chips to satisfy consumer desire for "out of the bag snackability" like potato chips, but are made of stone- ground white corn, and Doritos Lightly Salted Tortilla Thins offer less sodium and 30-percent less fat than potato chips.
 Doritos Tortilla Thins are available in two versions, Lightly Salted and Salsa 'n Cheese, and are available in three clear bag packages, including 5.5 ounce ($0.99 retail), 10 ounce ($1.99 retail), and 15.5 ounce ($2.99 retail).

Doritos Tortilla Thins are now available in all major supermarkets, mass merchandisers, club stores and convenience/gas outlets.
 -0- 3/24/93
 /CONTACT: Tod MacKenzie, 214-334-2557, or Lynn Markley, 214-334-2404, both of Frito-Lay/

CO: Frito-Lay, Inc. ST: Texas IN: ENT FOD SU:

PS -- NY010 -- 8990 03/24/93 09:28 EST
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Date:Mar 24, 1993

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