Saving every penny to buy a pack of Lays and pray to get a TAZO different from my over-flooding collection of these 286 colourful plastic disks – That’s how I spent my childhood! Growing up on Magic Masala and switching to the American Style Cheese & Onion, the transition has been quite a wonderful journey. Not just myself, but I have seen my elders switching from the regular ‘Namkeens’ to offering & gifting packs of Kurkure as the ultimate snacking option with friends and family.
We have all cherished munching on an array of Lays and Kurkure flavors throughout our lives, with Saif Ali Khan and other Bollywood sirens sharing our love for PepsiCo all the while; nothing has ever deterred our love for these bites.
And to experience the true value of PepsiCo’s dedication towards producing the best quality snacks and motive behind maintaining a production environment that balances all spheres of lifestyle, I was invited over to visit their biggest Lays & Kurkure production plant in Dhulagarh, Kolkata.
I can write an entire article on how I felt; taking a tour of this plant, but let me summarize it to this, that while I was taken through the entire production process, all I could think of were 2 things – 1. Can I just stretch my hand, pick a crisp chip and munch on it already? 2. Why do people say that Kurkure has plastic in it, when not even a plastic vessel is used in the production?
Lay’s- Making Of The Golden Chip
PepsiCo not only takes extra precautions in the production of Lays, but the brand takes active participation with thousands of farmers, providing them resources and regular interactive technical knowledge to produce the right quality of potato in India.
Their major part of potato sourcing comes from Punjab. Not only the production, but PepsiCo also engages with 24,000 farmers in making their lifestyle better, assuring a hassle free work environment even for those employees who don’t work at the plant.
Upon arrival of the potatoes, the lot is unloaded and washed thoroughly and passed through jets of water to eliminate any chances of dirt whatsoever. Then comes the peeling part, which consists of a machine equipped with highly delicate round-peeling blades to make the process faster. The peeling is followed by halving and manual inspection by 4 experts who analyse and trim each potato, eliminating the unfit potatoes from the belt.
Then comes the fine slicing and 2nd wash process to prepare the chips for frying and seasoning. The chips are passed through a massive frying machine which consists of a fine quality vegetable oil. PepsiCo maintains the order of quality by sourcing the vegetable oil from the same vendor, upon thorough analysis and quality inspection.
Speaking about inspection, each fried chip too is taken through a machine called ‘Optical Sorting Machine’ which is built with highly optical cameras, scanning hundreds of chips a minute; eliminating burnt out or unfit chips for further process. What do they do with the eliminated chips? Well, the eliminated chips are crushed finely and then taken to the plant’s bio-degradable zone for 100% utility of the products put into process.
The approved chips are shuffled through ‘Seasoning Loops’ which process one flavor of Lays at a time. The seasoning consists of the basic masalas and some secret ingredients which make Lays stand out in the market!
And this concludes the ‘production’ of Lays, with the seasoned chips transferred up to the packaging and section division room. The storing, production and packaging rooms are kept separate keeping in mind the necessary temperature and moisture control each one of these sectors require for healthy production of the chips.
The PepsiCo team, with well deserved pride, also informed us that they generate 85% power usage in the plant with bio-degradation, have installed water-saving technologies and do not eliminate hazardous gases in the air at any given point of time.
Not just that, but PepsiCo’s CEO Indra Nooyi has also introduced ‘KAIZEN PRATIYOGITA’ to reward the hard working team of PepsiCo plants across, encouraging a healthy work environment. It takes a great deal for a brand to not only produce services/products that please the masses but are able to achieve sustainability standards that term with the working environment for everyone alike. PepsiCo is one such company that excels the art of producing excellent food items and maintains a production protocol that respects needs of every employee and mother nature.
My trip to the Kitchen of Lays and Kurkure has been quite a content trip and now, everytime I pick up a pack of Lays or Kurkure, it reminds me of the hardwork that goes into each pack’s production. The biggest point being that I am now able to munch on a pack of Lays and Kurkure without worrying about having to deal with false plastic accusations or worry about the quality of food that I am in taking.
And to celebrate this glorious brand and its offerings, I have tied up with PepsiCo to spread the love this holiday season! A GIVEAWAY with 3 Goodie Hampers from PepsiCo to be won. Visit –> http://tinyurl.com/KurkureContest to participate!