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FRITO-LAY BETS LOW-FAT WHILE OSCAR MAYER ROLLS NO-FAT MEATS

By Published on .

Frito-Lay and Kraft Foods' Oscar Mayer brand are slimming down to fit into the food industry's most fashionable style: low-fat.

Frito-Lay said it will spend $225 million this year to expand its line of low-fat salty snacks, estimating the brands will represent one-third of Frito-Lay's business by 1998 with $2 billion in sales.

Low-fat products represented 10% of sales last year, at $500 million.

Packaging for each low-fat snack brand will feature a green banner bearing a yellow sun icon and the slogan, "Taste the fun, not the fat."

Frito-Lay also is shipping 15,000 free standing display units to grocery stores nationwide trumpeting the low-fat products, including Rold Gold fat-free pretzels, Ruffles reduced-fat potato chips, Baked Tostitos tortilla chips and Tostitos salsas and dips.

DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago, is developing a supporting TV, print and outdoor campaign, to break later this quarter.

Frito-Lay is expanding its pretzel line to include Tiny Twists, Sticks and Sourdough products. Frito-Lay is testing a Baked Lay's product in two Iowa markets.

In a similar move, Kraft Foods' Oscar Mayer line last week announced it will unveil in April fat-free versions of its five most popular products: hot dogs, bologna, smoked turkey, and oven-roasted chicken and turkey.

Oscar Mayer will spend $10 million to $15 million to introduce the new line, through a TV and print campaign from J. Walter Thompson USA, Chicago. A Wienermobile promotional tour coordinated by Market Growth Resources, Wilton, Conn., and direct mail pieces are also planned.

Made of turkey and beef, the fat-free hot dogs are 40 calories each; the fat-free bologna is 35 calories per slice.

Kraft also recently added no-fat Jell-O pudding and gelatin with ads starring Bill Cosby from Young & Rubicam, New York.

Jennifer DeCoursey contributed to this story.

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