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 Sensations Japanese Sweet
Wasabi and Ginger Crisps
For the first time in a long time, this review will include a light level of ignorance about a flavour ingredient. I have never heard of ‘Sweet’ wasabi. Normal wasabi burns your socks off and is often compared to horseradish. There was nothing remotely hot about these crisps. There was no kick and no wasabi familiarity. I am therefore left to wonder whether the sweet version of wasabi tastes anything like wasabi at all. Neither was there any noticeable ginger. As with many major manufacturers, a crisp variety has been introduced that is original and exotic sounding. And it should be said, very tasty. But, and this is a big but, it doesn’t taste much like the flavour description.
Walkers Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli
A Nose Plunge Test revealed little of the exotic spices within. It is not often that this can be said of Walkers mass production generic flavours, but the flavour simply burst out of these crisps. There was a sweet chilli sauce blend of spices that produced a quick counterpunch of spicy heat. A very well executed crisp that has incredible sales figures for understandable reasons. It is the go-to crisp of this variety.
Walkers Sensations Hickory Smoked
Cheddar and Crispy Bacon
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a mildly pungent cheese aroma, which was unexpectedly impressive. Cheese dominated here, but there was a definite backdrop of bacon. This was not consistent throughout the bag - This was a good thing. There was even an underlying smoky flavour to what was an accurately described variety. Top marks for the honesty of the description, but it takes a required taste to pick these over the cheese and its more natural onion pairing.
Walkers Sensations Roasted Chicken &
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a Chicken-like redolence that featured an almost sweet undercurrent. There was also the addition of some sort of herb, but mostly on the crisps that were most heavily seasoned. There was a hint of lemon, which does not feature as a descriptive addition to the flavour.
Walkers Sensations Balsamic Vinegar &
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a sweet pickle, maybe even chutney styled, onion smell. The flavour was similar. There was undoubtedly red onion, as featured on the front of the bag. There was also a lacing of sweet flavoured vinegar, that may or may not have been balsamic, but whatever it was, it combined well with the pickle to provide not just the flavour as described on the front of the packaging, but an odd, but still somewhat pleasant, if not overwhelmingly substantial flavour.