Monster Munch

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Monster Munch are a baked corn snack, manufactured by Walkers, in the shape of monsters. They are aimed at children and widely consumed in the United Kingdom[1]. Flavours include Roast Beef, Pickled Onion and Flamin' Hot[2].

History[edit]

Smiths Monster Munch (1977–1995)[edit]

Monster Munch snacks were 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), they were renamed "Monster Munch" in 1978. Advertised as "The Biggest Snack Pennies Can Buy" – in reference to the large size of the snacks – 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[edit]

The original Monster Munch monsters as featured on a promotional badge from the 1980s.

By the late 1980s there were four main monsters featured on the packaging, although originally a total of six featured in the advertising.

Colour Description Flavour
Pink Monster A tall, pink, gangly creature with a floppy tongue Roast Beef
Blue Monster A blue creature who looks like Thog from the Muppet Show, but wears a hat Saucy/Sizzling Bacon/Salt and Vinegar
Yellow Monster A yellow, one-eyed creature with a red nose Pickled Onion/Cheese and Onion/Saucy
Orange Monster A fat, orange creature with pink hair Giant Prawn/Pickled Onion

Flavours[edit]

The original flavour for Monster Munch when it launched was Roast Beef followed on by Saucy and Pickled Onion flavours a year later. In the 80's flavours such as Sizzling Bacon, Cheese & Onion, King Prawn and Salt & Vinegar were introduced. By the 1990s the four 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 single eye and lashes of Yellow monster (currently seen on Pickled Onion flavour packs). 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 in the Sizzling 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, cola and lemonade.[3]

In 1994, Mega Monster Munch was introduced, which came in bigger bags in Flamin' Hot flavour.

Walkers Monster Munch (1995–2008)[edit]

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[edit]

Monster Description Flavour
Pink/Purple Monster A tall, pink creature with a wide mouth, later a purple one as normal. The original 80's version appeared in the Spicy flavour. Beef Burger/Spicy/Roast Beef
Blue/Yellow Monster A furry, blue or yellow creature with an inverted head Spaghetti Sauce/Cheesy
Red Monster A large, red ogre-like creature Flamin' Hot
Orange Monster An orange ogre-like creature Pickled Onion

Flavours[edit]

Alongside the returning Pickled Onion and Flamin' Hot (Mega Monster Munch only), two new flavours, Beef Burger and Spaghetti Sauce, were introduced. A wide range of Tazos, featuring images of the monsters, was produced, with one Tazo included in each bag.

Since then, various packaging changes and new flavours have been introduced. Monster Munch was later part of Walkers' short lived "Snackshack" lineup during 1997-1999. A Cheesy flavour replaced the Spaghetti Sauce Flavour at this time, and the Blue Monster was recoloured Yellow. Flamin' Hot was later introduced in the multipacks at this time, replacing Beef Burger.

In 1999, when Walkers changed their logo, Monster Munch changed their packaging. A Spicy flavour was also released at this time and a new Purple Monster (which looked like the Pink Monster from the first era) was the main monster for that flavour. in 2003, Cheesy and Spicy were discontinued, the Spicy flavour was replaced with Roast Beef again.

In 2007, Walkers changed the packaging for all their snack products, which were Quavers, Wotsits, Squares, French Fries and Monster Munch. This packaging reflected the usage of Sunseed Oil, which was used in all products. The Multipack bags were in a different layout, being in Landscape style. For Monster Munch, the logo was changed, but the monsters and flavours didn't. However, for Monster Munch, This packaging style was short lived, as huge changes happened to the brand in 2008. This packaging remained for the short lived Baked Monster Munch.

Original Monster Munch relaunched (2008–present)[edit]

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.[4]

Monster Description Flavour
Pink Monster A tall, pink, gangly creature with a floppy tongue Roast Beef
Yellow Monster A yellow, one-eyed creature with a red nose Pickled onion
Blue Monster A hat-wearing blue creature with floppy-ears and four arms Flamin' Hot

Limited editions[edit]

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 has been a flavour called “bolognaise sauce” which was a tomato and beef taste available in the mid 1990s and was eventually replaced with the current “Flamin’ Hot” variety

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 starting from Halloween in 2013 and came in a bacon flavour. This product has been popular enough be released every Halloween after that.

Tayto Monster Munch (Ireland)[edit]

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.

Intersnack Monster Munch (France) [edit]

Monster Munch in France

In France, the major potato crisp brand Intersnack (France) commercializes a range of flavoured potato chip based snacks with the name "Monster Munch". The range of flavours includes ready salted, ham & cheese, barbecue, ketchup and cream cheese. The monsters are smaller in size than UK Monster Munch, much thinner with a smiling ghost shape.[5]

Ingredients[edit]

Monster Munch is suitable for vegetarians.[6]

References[edit]