Smiths Monster Munch (1977–1995)
Monster Munch was launched in Britain in 1977 by Smiths. Originally called "The Prime Monster" (a play on "The Prime Minister", and as part of a wider campaign), the decision was taken to rename the snack "Monster Munch" in 1978. Advertised as "The Biggest Snack Pennies Can Buy" – in reference to the large size of the crisps – each pack featured a different monster on the front of the packet.
The snack was supported by a "Monster Munch Club", whose members received a "Monster Munch Munchers" membership pack which included a membership card, pen, several story books, and a story tape which included six "tall stories" and accompanying songs.
Original '80s monsters
By the late '80s there were four main monsters featured on the packaging, although originally a total of six featured in the advertising.
|Pink Monster||A tall, pink, gangly creature with a floppy tongue||Roast Beef|
|Blue Monster||A hat-wearing blue creature with floppy-ears and four arms||Smokey Bacon|
|Yellow Monster||A yellow, one-eyed creature with a red nose||Monsterously Spicy|
|Orange Monster||A fat, orange creature with pink hair||Pickled Onion|
Monster Munch was available in a variety of flavours over the years including Roast Beef, Pickled Onion, Saucy Tomato, Bacon, Cheese & Onion, King Prawn and Salt & Vinegar. Pickled Onion has remained in the selection throughout the years, with Roast Beef appearing in almost every combination. By the 1990s the four main flavours available were Pickled Onion, Roast Beef, Smokey Bacon and Saucy.
The original Monster Munch used two different snack shapes, related to two of the Monsters. The shape known as a "monster paw" that is still used today has long been the subject of dispute over whether it represents a paw or, instead, the eye and lashes of a monster. The other represented the gangly, long-tongued pink monster: circular with two bumps on the top for eyes, protrusions on either side and a tongue dangling down. For a limited time in the early 1990s, there were also spider-shaped Monster Munch with a smokey bacon flavour.
A short-lived range of Monster Munch themed drinks - Monster Fizz - was available in the 1980s. The small range of flavours included orangeade.
Walkers Monster Munch (1995–2008)
In 1995 the Monster Munch brand was taken over by Walkers who relaunched them with a range of four flavours. One of the most significant changes was that the crisps were much smaller than before. The monster characters were also redesigned.
New '90s monsters
|Pink Monster||A tall, pink creature with a wide mouth||Beef Burger|
|Blue Monster||A furry, blue creature with an inverted head||Spaghetti Sauce|
|Red Monster||A large, red ogre-like creature||Flamin' Hot|
|Orange Monster||An orange ogre-like creature||Pickled Onion|
Walkers relaunched Monster Munch with five flavours: Pickled Onion, Beef Burger, Spaghetti Sauce, Flamin' Hot and Roast Beef. Since then, the range of flavours has changed several times, such as Cheesy replacing Spaghetti Sauce (and the Blue Monster being recoloured yellow). A wide range of Tazos, featuring images of the monsters, was produced, with one Tazo included in each bag.
Original Monster Munch relaunched (2008–present)
In September 2008 Walkers re-launched Monster Munch, based on the original Monster Munch from the Smiths days. The crisps have returned to their original larger size, and the packs include retro designs based on the original packs, featuring three of the original four monsters. "Roast Beef" flavour features the Pink Monster as originally, "Pickled Onion" features the Yellow Monster and "Flamin' Hot" is marketed with the Blue Monster. The orange monster was not brought back. A Mega Monster Munch website was launched to coincide with the relaunch.
Throughout the years there have been several limited edition flavours available for a short period of time. A "Baked Bean" flavour was made available in 2003 for Comic Relief. A "Vanilla Ice Cream" flavour was released in 2004, and was received with mostly negative reaction. This type of monster munch was non-savoury, and it contained sugar instead of salt.
There were also variants that could turn the consumer's tongue a different colour. This usually meant the tongue was turned blue, though a variant that could turn the tongue either blue or green was available for a time.
A Product Called "Mega Monster Munch Webs" was sold for halloween 2013 and came in a bacon flavour.
Tayto Monster Munch (Ireland)
In Ireland, the major potato crisp and corn snack brand Tayto made a spicy flavoured corn snack with the name "Monster Munch". Upon the movement of Walkers into the Irish market in the 1990s, the name "Monster Munch" was purchased from Tayto. Thereafter, Tayto changed the name of their snack to "Mighty Munch" to differentiate between the Tayto and Walker snacks.
- Paul (2008-05-31). "The Cobwebbed Room: 'Monster Munch' - Pop And Tape". Cobwebbedroom.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
- "Find Our Monsters! Monster Munch - They're Back and They're Bigger!". Megamonstermunch.com. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
- "isitveggie.com - Walkers Products". jamjee.co.uk.