Pipers, Smiths Crisps, Sunbites, Market Deli, Walkers
Address: Walkers Snack Foods, Freepost LE4 918,
Leicester, LE4 5ZY, United Kingdom
Phone: 0800 274 777
Email: Contact Form
With meat rationing hitting profits, a Leicester based butcher named Henry Walker worked out a plan with his colleague Mr Gerrard to enter the field of Potato Crisps. Walkers Crisps began, and by 1954 the company had advanced sufficiently to introduce the Cheese & Onion Crisp – the UK’s most popular flavour today.
Walkers has approximately half of the UK’s crisp market and makes 10million bags per day. It is also now owned by Pepsico. The largest Potato Chip manufacturer in the World, Lays, is also owned by Pepsico. In the UK alone, the Walkers arm of Pepsico employs over 4,000 people.
Many people wonder what happened to Smiths Crisps, which was a Crisps powerhouse as recently as the 1980s. Major companies with wide ranging branding wasn’t as familiar with the public then as it is now. Nabisco actually owned Walkers, Smiths and Tudor, which was a successful brand in the North of England.
When Pepsico took the company over, they stopped using the Tudor branding and the Crisps under the Smiths branding was reduced substantially, with Walkers taking on the main task of providing the nation with regular Potato Crisps. Currently, the Smiths branding snacks only encompass Chipsticks, Frazzles, Bacon and Scampi Fries, and Cheese Moments.
The biggest change however came in 2006 when the company altered their branding to the Lays model, switched to Sunseed Oil for their cooking and reduced the saturated fat by 70%.
A recent time-line could begin in 1997, when Walkers became the brand name for Quavers and Monster Munch.
Walkers launched Max, as a standalone brand with its own range in 2000.
In 2001 Walkers assumed the branding of the Smiths snack, Squares.
In 2002 Walkers bought Wotsits from Golden Wonder Crisps. They also launched their Sensations range in the same year.
The Smiths brands: Salt & Shake, Scampi Fries and Bacon Fries were re-launched under the Walkers branding in 2003.
To provide a healthier alternative to Crisps during a more conscious age, the wholegrain snack Sunbites was launched in 2007.
The following year, Walkers began inviting the public into the process with their "Do Us A Flavour" campaign. The competition ran for nearly a year and six flavours were introduced, with interactive public participation in voting and the associated publicity getting Walkers brilliant coverage.
In an effort to tackle the premium Hand Cooked Crisps that had become available to the public, Walkers launched their standalone Red Sky branding in 2009.
The earlier success of the ‘Do Us A Flavour’ Campaign prompted a marketing campaign in 2010 called the 'Walkers Flavour Cup' to find the world's favourite flavour. English Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pudding won. In 2011, Walkers got involved with Comic Relief and used four celebrities to market their Crisps, in the aid of charity.
Walkers rebooted their packaging and branding in 2013.
Walkers Deli Market Chips with Balsamic
A Nose Plunge Test revealed an almost citrus-infused vinegar. Although a rather acquired taste would be required to enjoy these crisps, I will not judge. There was a slightly sweet balsamic vinegar flavouring evident. The warm potato background probably enhanced the taste.
Walkers Deli Flame Grilled Spanish Chorizo
& Roasted Onions
There was a meaty paprika smell when the bag was first opened. The flavour was always going to provide a test - By its very nature, chorizo is greasy and fatty. As crisps are also criticised by the less taste-enlightened, as greasy and fatty, it was always going to be difficult for this flavour to stand up to understandable scrutiny in this area. However, the firmness of the crisps allowed me to overlook this to hunt for the flavour. If anything, they were tastier than your average supermarket chorizo. There was a tinge of spiciness to a sausage flavouring. The onion was not too evident, but overall, the variety worked well.
Walkers Deli Market Potato Chips Cornish
A Nose Plunge Test featured a cheesy, but warm potato aroma. The flavour said it was Cornish Cheddar. I will not pretend I can tell the difference between regional Cheddar cheeses, but I would guess ‘Generic Cheddar’ would not have read quite as well on the packet. As it was, the flavour was certainly cheese-like, but there was just as much of a buttery flavour. It was however enjoyable if you like your cheese on its own.