New Frito-Lay Report Shows Gen-Z Prefers Snacks With 'Flavor Dust'

There are two kinds of people at a Super Bowl party: The one that came for the game — and the one who came for the snacks. If you're the latter, you probably see the Super Bowl as the ultimate opportunity to graze on a rotating supply of chips, dips, pigs in a blanket, nachos, chicken wings, and more. On this particular Sunday night, Americans traditionally eat as the Spanish do — only we call it appetizers, not tapas

In a 2022 study from InstaCart, chips were hands down the most popular snack bought right before Super Bowl Sunday — and not just any chips. Americans by and large prefered their game day chips to be plain Janes, not something that would overshadow their accompanying salsa: Tostito's Scoop Tortilla Chips led the pack, with regular tortilla chips and potato chips following closely behind. But a new report from Frito-Lay has proven that times — and tastes — are changing. 

According to a press release, the next generation of snackers, Generation Z, or Gen Z, has vastly different opinions on food than their elders, and chips are no exception.

Flavor dust or bust

When they aren't busy rediscovering low-rise jeans or middle parts, the majority of Gen Z is apparently chowing down on flavor-dusted chips. Frito-Lay conducted a snack survey with the zoomers, born in the late 1990s to early 2000s, noting that nearly 3 in 5 preferred snacks that had flavor dust and left residue on their fingers. That's pretty good news for the chip company, as Frito-Lay makes many of America's favorite dust-covered chips, from Doritos to Cheetos. 

This flavor dust infatuation can transcend the generational divide. Boomer Alton Brown has a penchant for Cheetos dust, proclaiming it as the best flavor on earth. (He's not wrong.) And even Jennifer Lawerence, a millennial Oscar-winner, is supremely addicted to Cool Ranch Doritos (via Vanity Fair), going as far as to ruin a few of her "American Hustle" costumes with said Dorito dust. Celebrities; They're just like us. 

Still, the Frito-Lay survey noted that Gen Z had a stronger yen for flavor dust-covered chips than others (about 60% versus 40% overall). With Gen Z representing a new — and large — customer base, chances are their snack preferences will serve as a guiding light for companies like Frito-Lay. As they say, the children are the future.