SUMMER INTERN SERIES: RYAN CHAPPELL – Passion for Food & Competition

The internship has been a whirlwind experience. After being here a few weeks and diving deep into my project, the intern coordinators have been hard at work allowing us to work hard and play harder. One of the marketing intern events involved all of us walking into a big open meeting area connected to our on site kitchen. Not sure what to expect, the coordinator told us we are going to have an innovation challenge. The interns were split into teams to come up with a snack mix for a particular consumer group and develop the positioning, pitch and story of how this would cater to the target consumers needs. Our ideas were vetted by a few marketing managers and then we got a chance to get our hands dirty…literally!

We all went into the kitchen and began creating our mixes, tasting, and adding seasonings. The result was four teams with solid proposals to a panel of marketing innovation judges. Due to my team’s ability to appeal to the target consumer, and providing insight into the activation in store, we were able to win the innovation challenge! This was definitely an example of how Frito Lay is a highly competitive company to remain on top. Definitely a reflection of how our senior directors challenge us to stretch our thinking beyond the confines of where our project started off because when we took our concepts to the kitchen, many modifications occurred to make it a snack mix that would appeal to the consumer. Additionally, the visibility we have been able to get at senior management seems unreal. We have got to meet chefs who have worked with Food Network with the VP of Innovation to conduct a “Food Fight” quick fire challenge like on Top Chef but also got a chance to paint with the VP of Shopper Marketing. Of course the paintings involved our most prized brand celebrity Chester the Cheetah!

Great experiences thus far and more to come as the internship begins amp up to prepare for the final presentation which is pivotal to how your success at Frito Lay is evaluated.