Walkers (snack foods)

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Walkers
Type Subsidiary of PepsiCo[1]
Industry Snacks
Founded 1948[2]
Headquarters Leicester, England, UK
Products See below
A pack of Walkers "Salt and Vinegar" crisps

Walkers is a British snack food manufacturer mainly operating in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Walkers was founded in 1948 in Leicester, England by Henry Walker, and acquired by Lay's owner, Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo, in 1989.[3] It is best known for manufacturing crisps, and other, non-potato based snack foods. They hold 58 per cent of the British crisp market.[4] The Walkers site in Leicester is one of the largest crisp production plants in the world, producing over 11 million bags of crisps per day and using about 800 tons of potatoes.[5]

History[edit]

In the 1880s, Walker moved from Mansfield to Leicester to take over an established butcher's shop in the high street. Meat rationing after World War II saw the factory output drop dramatically and the company looked at alternatives to make use of the wasted capacity. With potato crisps being increasingly popular with the public, managing director R.E. Gerrard helped the company shift focus and began hand-slicing and frying potatoes.

Present day[edit]

The Walkers logo, featuring a red ribbon around a yellow sun, is noticeably similar to Lay's, it derives from the Walkers logo used in 1990. The company is still a significant presence in Leicester. Gary Lineker, formerly a Leicester, Everton and Spurs footballer (also of the England national football team where he won Golden Boot for his six goals scored in Mexico 86), is now the face of the company, featuring in most of their advertising campaigns. The official website states that an estimated "11 million people will eat a Walkers product every day". The company employs over 4,000 people in fifteen locations.[citation needed]

In February 2006, Walkers changed their brand label and typeset. They also announced they were to reduce the saturated fat in their crisps by 70%.[6] They started frying their crisps in "SunSeed" oil, claiming the oil is higher in monounsaturated fat content than the standard sunflower oil which they used previously,[7] establishing their own sunflower farms in Ukraine and Spain to be able to produce sufficient quantities of the oil. Walkers updated their packaging style in June 2007, moving to a brand identity reminiscent of the logo used from 1998–2006.

Many of Walkers brands were formerly branded under the Smiths Crisps name. This comes from the time when Walkers, Smiths and Tudor Crisps were the three main brands of Nabisco's UK snack division with Tudor being marketed mainly in the north of England and Walkers in the south. After the takeover by PepsiCo the Tudor name was dropped and the Smiths brand has become secondary to Walkers. The only products currently retaining the Smiths brand are Salt & Vinegar and Ready Salted Chipsticks, Frazzles and the "Savoury Selection", which includes Bacon Flavour Fries, Scampi Flavour Fries and Cheese Flavoured Moments.

The six finalists of the 2009 "Do Us A Flavour" campaign

To promote the freshness of its products, Walkers began to package them in foil bags from 1993, then from 1996, began filling them with nitrogen instead of air.[8] In 1997, Walkers became the brand name of Quavers and Monster Munch snacks. In August 2000 Walkers launched Max, a brand with a range of crisps. More Max flavours were introduced in 2001. In the same year Walkers bought Squares, a range of snacks from Smiths.

In May 2002 Walkers launched Sensations, a range of crisps in the UK. Walkers introduced the Quavers flavours Salt & Vinegar and Prawn Cocktail in July 2002.

In 2003, Smiths brands Salt 'n' Shake, Scampi Fries and Bacon Fries were relaunched under the Walker's identity. In 2003 Walkers bought Wotsits from Golden Wonder. In July 2004 Walkers launched Wotsits Twisted, a range of cheese puffs in the UK. Nutrition information has appeared on the front of Walkers crisps packets since 2006.

In 2007, Walkers launched Sunbites, a healthier range of lower/better fat crisps made using wholegrains.[9]

In July 2008, Walkers launched its "Do Us A Flavour" campaign, challenging members of the public to think up a unique flavour of crisp. In January 2009 six flavours were picked and released as special editions, available until May 2009. During this period, consumers could vote on their favourite and the winner would become a permanent flavour.[10] The winner of the competition was Builder's Breakfast by Emma Rushin from Belper in Derbyshire. This flavour was itself discontinued a year later in May 2010 in order for Walkers to focus on the upcoming 'Flavour Cup'.

In summer 2009 Walkers launched its premium Red Sky brand of "all natural" potato crisps and snacks.[11]

In April 2010, the company launched a brand new promotional campaign which was entitled the Walkers Flavour Cup in order to locate the world's most loved and favourite flavour.[12] In the end, it was decided that the flavour with the very most fans at the end of the tournament/competition would be declared the winner and ultimate champion of all flavours. Walkers encouraged people to engage in social media activity and upload photos and videos to their website proving people's Superfan status of Walkers Crisps. The best fan from each of the 15 flavours won £10,000.[13] In the end, English Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pudding won the flavour cup.

For the 2011 Comic Relief, four celebrities; Jimmy Carr, Stephen Fry, Al Murray and Frank Skinner each represented four new flavours and the three whose crisps sell the least amount would be waxed by Denise Van Outen on 18 March 2011 on Red Nose Day (see below).[14]

In early 2013, Walkers revised their packaging, with a new design and typeface. Slogans such as 'Distinctively Salt & Vinegar' and 'Classically Ready Salted' were added to the front of packs. The previous packaging design had only been around for 12 months. Along with this packaging design came news that the company would start using real meat products in its Smoky Bacon and Roast Chicken flavoured crisps.[15] This prompted substantial opposition from vegetarians, vegans and Muslims, who were now unable to consume the crisps.

In 2014 Lineker launched a new "Do Us A Flavour" Walkers competition which encouraged people to submit new flavours of crisps, with the best six being sold later in the year before a public vote to decide the winner. The winner would win £1m.[16]

Product lines[edit]

Current flavours[edit]

  • Cheese & Onion (Blue) - uses cheddar from Somerset
  • Roast Chicken (Orange) - uses free range chicken from Devon (Known to not be suitable for vegetarians)
  • Prawn Cocktail (Pink) - uses tomatoes from the Vale of Evesham
  • Ready Salted (Red) - uses salt from Cheshire
  • Salt & Vinegar (Green) - uses British vinegar
  • Pickled Onion (Lime Green) - uses British vinegar
  • Smoky Bacon (Dark Red) - uses pork from Norfolk (Known to be unsuitable for vegetarians)
  • Tomato Ketchup (Dark Brown & Dark Green) - uses tomatoes from the Vale of Evesham
  • Worcester Sauce (Purple) - uses British-brewed Worcestershire sauce
  • Cheddar Cheese & Bacon (Dark Yellow) - uses cheddar from Somerset
  • Sour Cream & Chive (Cream) - uses sour cream from Dorset

For Do Us A Flavour 2014:

Former flavours[edit]

The following flavours were available for a short time either because they tied in with special promotions, or failed to meet sales expectations:

  • Baked Bean (Orange) Comic relief 2003 limited edition. Was also in Monster Munch.
  • Baked Ham & Mustard (Orange)[17]
  • Barbecue (Black, replaced by BBQ Rib)
  • BBQ Rib (Black)
  • Beef & Onion (Brown, replaced by Steak & Onion)
  • Cheese (Yellow)
  • Cheese & Branston Pickle (Dark Green)
  • Cheese & Chive (Green & Yellow)
  • Chicken Tikka (Brown)
  • Ham & Mustard (Dark Pink)
  • Jamaican Jerky Chicken (Light Green)
  • Lamb Curry (Dark Yellow)
  • Lamb & Mint Sauce (Dark Green)[17]
  • Marmite (Yellow/Black)
  • Ploughmans (Light and Dark Green)
  • Roast Gammon (Pink and Black)
  • Roast Turkey & Stuffing (Dull Green & Snowflakes) Xmas edition
  • Roast Turkey with Paxo Sage & Onion Stuffing (Dark Purple) Christmas edition
  • Sausage & Heinz Tomato Ketchup (White)
  • Spicy Chilli (Dark Purple)
  • Spicy Mango Chutney (Yellow)
  • Spring Onion (Light Green)
  • Steak & Onion (Brown)
  • Toasted Cheese (Yellow)
  • Pizza (green)
  • Vanilla essence (beige)
  • Lex Rack (Red & Blue)

For the 2010 FIFA World Cup:

For Red Nose Day 2011:

Mystery Flavours 2012:[18]

  • Sour Cream & Spring Onion (Mystery Flavour A)
  • Lincolnshire Sausage & Brown Sauce (Mystery Flavour B)
  • Birmingham Chicken Balti (Mystery Flavour C)

Others[edit]

Variations[edit]

These are all the different variations of Walkers:

  • Baked
    • Cheese & Onion
    • Ready Salted
    • Salt & Vinegar
    • Sour Cream & Chive
  • Cheese Heads (Similar to Potato Heads)
    • Cheese
    • Cheese and Onion
  • Crinkles
    • Cheddar and Onion
    • Simply Sea Salt
    • Salt and Malt Vinegar
    • Sweet Chilli
  • Deep Ridged (similar to McCoy's, with ridges twice as deep as the Crinkles and any other crisp)
    • Flame Grilled Steak
    • Mature Cheddar & Onion
    • Salt and Malt Vinegar
    • Chilli Beef (launched in January 2013)
    • Ready Salted (in multipacks only)
  • Extra Crunchy (150g bags, launched in 2010)[19]
    • Cheddar and Sour Cream (blue)
    • Flame Grilled Steak (brown)
    • Salt and Malt Vinegar (green)
    • Simply Salted (red)
    • Sweet Chilli Chicken (orange)
    • Cheddar and Red Onion (purple, introduced in 2012)
    • King Prawn Cocktail (pink, introduced in 2012)
    • Sticky BBQ Rib (dark red, introduced in 2014)
  • Lights (formerly Lites) (Low fat)
    • Cheese and Onion
    • Simply Salted (Ready Salted)
    • Sour Cream and Chive
  • Max
    • Paprika
    • Cheese and Onion
    • Chargrilled Steak
    • Chip Shop Curry (de-listed)
    • Salt & Vinegar (de-listed)
  • Pops
    • Melted Cheese & Crispy Bacon
    • Original
    • Prawn Cocktail
    • Sour Cream & Onion
  • Potato Heads (Discontinued in 2008)[20]
    • Prawn Cocktail
    • Cheese and Onion
    • Ready Salted
    • Roasted Chicken
    • Salt and Vinegar
  • Salt 'n' Shake
    • Original
  • Sensations
From launch the flavours changed in 2006 and again in 2009. Current flavours are:[21]
  • Thai Sweet Chilli
  • Roasted Chicken & Thyme
  • Roasted Tomato & Aromatic Spices (Launched 2010)
  • Vintage Cheddar & Onion Chutney
  • Caramelised Onion & Balsamic Vinegar
  • Southern Style Barbecue
  • Buffalo Mozzarella & Herbs
  • Oriental Red Curry
  • Smoked Monterrey Chilli with Goats Cheese
  • Mexican Fiery Sweet Chipotle (Launched 2011)
  • Poppadoms – Lime & Coriander Chutney
  • Oriental Crackers – Peking Spare Rib
2006 re-branded flavours:
  • Gently Infused Lime & Thai Spices
  • Chicken with Italian Spices
  • Oven Roasted Chicken with Lemon & Thyme
  • Sea Salt
  • Vintage Cheese & Onion Chutney
  • Thai Sweet Chilli
  • Balsamic Vinegar and Caramelised Onion
  • Sensations Poppadoms
  • Sensations Oriental Crackers
  • Sensations Corn Chips
Original launch flavours:
  • Chargrilled Steak & Pepper Sauce
  • Four Cheese and Onion
  • Oven Roast Chicken & Thyme
  • Roast Lamb & Mint Sauce
  • Roasted Onion & Balsamic Vinegar
  • Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper
  • Thai Sweet Chilli
  • Sensations Oriental Crackers
  • Sensations Poppadom Bites
  • Stars
    • Cheese & Onion
    • Mild Sweet Chilli
    • Original
    • Salt & Vinegar
  • Sunbites (Wholegrain Crispy Snacks)
    • (Sun Ripened) Sweet Chilli
    • Cheddar and (caramalised) onion
    • Sour Cream (and Cracked Black Pepper)
    • (Oven Roasted) Onion and Rosemary
    • (Lightly) Sea Salted
  • Hoops and Crosses (Launched March 2013) (Similar to Monster Munch but hoops and crosses shaped)
    • Roast Beef
    • Prawn Cocktail
    • Salt & Vinegar

Pack sizes[edit]

The common pack sizes are:

  • 32.5g (formerly 34.5g) Standard Bags (Crisps)
  • 32g Standard Bags (Crinkles)
  • 25g (formerly 27.5g) "Multipack" Bags
  • 16.4g Quavers "Multipack" bags
  • 28g Crinkles "Multipack" Bags
  • 40g bags (Sensations or Monster Munch only)
  • 50g (formerly 55g) "Grab Bag" bags, produced primarily for the pub trade
  • 95g Bags (Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli only)
  • 120g Bags (Cheese & Onion & Ready Salted)
  • 150g Big Bags (Sensations Share-It Bags & Crinkles Share-It Bags)
  • 300g Sharing Bag (available around Christmas time only)

The 50g bag size for the pub trade was produced following a survey by Walkers regarding the average size of a social group in a pub, and the average number of crisps people would take when a bag was passed around; on average, the purchaser should be left with the same weight of crisps in their Grab Bag after passing it around their friends as would be found in a standard 34.5g pack.[citation needed] In 1998 Walkers celebrated their 50th birthday in which they produced limited edition bean bears.

Other types of snack food[edit]

  • Chipsticks
    • Ready Salted
    • Salt and Vinegar
  • Doritos
    • Cool Original
    • Tangy Cheese
    • Chili Heatwave
    • BBQ Rib
    • Flamin' Cheeseball (hard to find)
    • Dippas Lightly Salted
    • Dippas Hint Of Lime
    • Collisions: T-bone Steak & Green Pepper
    • Collisions: Chicken & Zesty Salsa
    • Jalapeño Fire (sometimes mentioned as just "Fire")
  • French Fries
    • Cheese and Onion
    • Fish & Chips (discontinued)
    • Ready Salted
    • Salt and Vinegar
    • Worcester Sauce
  • Frazzles
    • Bacon
  • Squares
    • Ready Salted
    • Cheese and Onion
    • Salt and Vinegar
  • Quavers
    • Cheese
    • Ketchup (discontinued)
    • Prawn Cocktail
    • Salt and Vinegar
    • Tangy Tomato (discontinued)
  • Mega Monster Munch
    • Baked Bean comic relief 2003 limited edition (discontinued)
    • Cheesy (discontinued)
    • Beef Burger (discontinued)
    • Pickled Onion
    • Flamin' Hot
    • Roast Beef
    • Spaghetti Sauce (discontinued)
    • Spicy (discontinued)
    • Vanilla Ice Cream (discontinued)
  • Wotsits
    • Really Cheesy
    • Flamin' Hot (multipack only)
    • Prawn Cocktail (multipack only)
  • Twisted
    • Flamin' Hot
  • Wafflers
    • Bacon
  • Sundog Savoury Popcorn
    • Cheesy Grin (discontinued)
  • Snaps
    • Spicy Tomato
    • Cheese (discontinued)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FAQ". PepsiCo UK. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  2. ^ "Walkers Crisps". PepsiCo UK. Retrieved 2013-03-14. 
  3. ^ "Walkers Snack Foods Ltd. History". fundinguniverse.com. 
  4. ^ "BBC Food: Crisps: Is classic potato losing its appeal?". BBC. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 2014-06-01. 
  5. ^ "Walkers Crisps Production Line, Leicester". Packaging Gateway. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  6. ^ "Walkers Crisps – Better for you | less saturated fat". Walkers-eathappy.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  7. ^ "Sunseed Oil". www.pepsico.co.uk. Retrieved October 13, 2013. 
  8. ^ http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/walkers-snack-foods-ltd-history/
  9. ^ "Sunbites website". Sunbites.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  10. ^ "Squirrel-flavoured crisps go on sale in UK". Metro.co.uk. 9 January 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  11. ^ "Red Sky Potato Chips from Walkers". Talkingretail.com. 5 March 2009. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  12. ^ "Home". Walkers.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  13. ^ "Walkers Flavour Cup". Brandown.com. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  14. ^ Dunkerley, Jennifer (4 February 2011). "Comedians battle for Denise van Outen". Daily Star. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
  15. ^ Hickman, Martin (28 February 2013). "Not suitable for vegetarians: Walkers' new potato crisps range uses real ingredients - including meat". The Independent. 
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ a b part of the "Great British Dinner" range
  18. ^ Bamford, Vince (14 March 2012), "Walkers reveals its three mystery flavours", The Grocer (William Reed Business Media), retrieved 2012-04-25 
  19. ^ "Indies clash over Walkers Extra Crunchy coup", The Grocer (William Reed Business Media), 21 August 2010, retrieved 2012-05-03 
  20. ^ "Walkers abandons Potato Heads line". Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  21. ^ "Walkers Sensations". Sensationscrisps.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-11. 

External links[edit]