Presently, there are 2 giants in the packaged food industry that are taking such an approach.
Lay's started their campaign to "Do Us A Flavor" in 2013 and has continued to gain traction ever since. The premise is to come up with a potato chip flavor that gains so much popularity (or at least the idea of it is so great) that Lay's creates it for mass production, after a thorough taste testing I'm sure.
|The 3 Finalists|
The 2nd, in my opinion, successful attempt to get the public's attention was Mondelez's Limited Edition Mystery Oreo by Nabisco contest. Ever easier than Lay's, all you have to do is buy the mystery package at your local grocer, taste it, and enter your guess for what flavor it is on their website for the chance to win $50,000. Did we even need another reason to buy some Oreos?
Lays' Do Us A Flavor and Nabisco's Mystery Oreo are two contests that are a really fun / playful way to get their audiences involved, to market their products, and fill the void of creativity in coming up with new flavor profiles for their products. In a way, the public is doing the jobs of the product creators, but why not? It's interactive marketing at its finest. And it's a win-win situation. They get new customers, and the public gets new flavors.