Lay’s potato chips to soon have sunflower oil blend? PepsiCo India begins trials – here’s why |

PepsiCo India, known for its popular potato chip brand Lay’s, is testing a new oil blend for its popular Lay’s potato chips. Instead of using palm oil and palmolein, they’re trying a mix that includes sunflower oil and palmolein. This change is happening because people are concerned about palm oil, which is cheaper but considered unhealthy in many packaged foods in India.
According to ET, in the United States—where PepsiCo is headquartered and has its largest market—the company uses “heart-healthy” oils like sunflower, corn, and canola for its Lay’s potato chips. On its US website, PepsiCo explains that these oils contain beneficial fats that can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and maintain “good” HDL cholesterol when part of a balanced diet.
A PepsiCo India spokesperson mentioned that the trials for the new oil blend in some of its products started last year, making the company “one of the few players in the food industry in India to do so.”
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Palmolein is a liquid fraction made from refining palm oil, and both come from the same oil palm fruit. Palm oil itself is semi-solid.
Beyond oil changes, PepsiCo India is also working to reduce salt content in its snacks, with a goal of having sodium levels at or below 1.3 milligrams per calorie by 2025, according to a representative.
Many packaged food brands in India use palm oil, including those making salty snacks, biscuits, chocolates, noodles, bread, and ice cream. This is because palm oil is much cheaper than sunflower or soybean oil.
In India, Lay’s classic salted chips are priced from Rs 10, one of the lowest price points for the brand globally.
Packaged food companies, especially multinational ones, have faced criticism from nutritionists, health advocates, and social media influencers. These critics claim that these companies use cheaper and sometimes less healthy ingredients in packaged foods sold in developing countries, compared to the ingredients used in similar products in the U.S. and Europe.
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Last week, Nestle India announced it is developing a version of its infant food Cerelac without added sugar. The company recently faced criticism for using higher levels of added sugar in its products sold in Asian and African countries. This came after a report by Swiss investigative organization Public Eye and the International Baby Food Action Network revealed that Cerelac in India contained nearly 3 grams of sugar per serving. The report pointed out that Nestle’s infant foods in lower-income countries like India often had added sugar, while similar products in developed markets like the UK, Germany, and Switzerland did not.
In addition to Lay’s, PepsiCo India’s food portfolio includes brands like Doritos, Kurkure, and Quaker. A company spokesperson stated that PepsiCo aims to ensure that by 2025, at least 75% of its food products will contain no more than 1.3 milligrams of sodium per calorie. “We are making good progress towards this goal,” he noted.
He added that PepsiCo adjusts its food and drink recipes in different countries based on local tastes, manufacturing facilities, available ingredients, and market trends. He also mentioned that the ingredient labels on all products help consumers make informed choices.


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