2nd November 2010, on the menu today...
Looking back, I associate Walkers crisps with some very happy memories whether it be days out with the family, picnics or hungrily munching on the things along with my sandwich at school breaktime so lunchtime would be free to play games. They've also had a number of in-packet promotions I've really enjoyed, including Tazo giveaways and the chance to win money if you found a little blue packet containing a cheque. Fast forwarding to the present, I, along with the majority of the nation, still love their crisps as demand continues to see the likes of Ready Salted, Cheese & Onion, Prawn Cocktail, Roast Chicken etc grace store shelves up and down the country. Indeed, Walkers is not just a classic of the crisp world but a British food icon that I will happily continue to support with a sandwich in one hand and a packet in the other.
Front: Except for the background colours, these designs are identical across the range. In each case, the brand name is shown on a banner wrapped around a sun-like graphic that shines down on the crisps below with connotations of the outdoors and naturalness. Besides these two graphics, there is some text in very plain font informing the consumer of the flavour of the crisps and, at the bottom, the customary nutritional info. Overall, Walkers have done well in my opinion to balance a colourful look that will appeal to younger consumers with a more grown-up clean and uncluttered design.
Back: Beginning at the top left, there is a picture of a tractor in a field reinforcing the notion of naturalness and the outdoors hinted at on the front of the packaging. This is coupled with some flavour-specific text written in an upbeat, semi-humorous tone. Below this are promises on what Walkers' crisps do not contain and a quality guarantee. Finally, on the right-hand side is the nutritional info is in full. No great shakes here but noted is the use of a handwritten-like font for the quality guarantee and flavour-specific text to give a more personal feel to the messages as opposed to the nutritional information which is displayed in plain type.
All Walkers' crisps have a great level of crunch to them that is audibly satisfying for the eater. Ready Salted are balanced beautifully so each mouthful is a combination of plain potato crisp and a tinge of salt to spark the taste buds; salt and vinegar provide a decent whack of vinegar; Cheese and Onion have a powered cheese flavour to them that is truly addictive; Prawn Cocktail have a good dusting of spicy flavour to them that I simply adore; and Roast Chicken tastes more of chicken stock cube than roast chicken in my books but is still absolutely delicious. At the end of the day, give me a packet of any Walkers' crisps and I will be a happy man.
Have you considered...?
Walkers crisps contain no MSG, preservatives or artificial colours and are suitable for both vegetarians and coeliacs. Between 2003 and now, Walkers have reduced saturated fat in their crisps by at least 70% through use of Sunseed Oil - an branded oil derived from sunflower seeds. Moreover, in 2006 they reduced salt levels by at least 25% with a typical packet now containing 8% of an adult's salt RDA.
History (as per the Wikipedia entry):
In the 1880s Henry 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.
Walkers is now owned by Frito-Lay, which in turn is a subsidiary of PepsiCo, with the current logo a derivative of the North American Lay's logo. The company is still a significant presence in Leicester and sponsor Leicester City football team's stadium, the Walkers Stadium. Gary Lineker, formerly a Leicester City footballer, is now the face of the company, starring 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.
In 2000, Walkers' 1995 advert starring Gary Lineker was named the ninth best television commercial of all time, in a poll conducted by The Sunday Times and Channel 4.
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%. They started frying their crisps in SunSeed oil, a variety of sunflower oil, claiming the oil's higher monounsaturated fat content made it healthier than the sunflower oil which they used previously. They once again changed their packaging style in June 2007, rather similar to the logo used from 1998–2006.
Nutrition information has appeared on the front of Walkers crisps packets since 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 gradually been phased out in favour of Walkers.
The only products currently retaining the Smiths brand are Salt 'n' Shake, Salt & Vinegar and Ready Salted Chipsticks, Frazzles and the "Savoury Selection", which includes Bacon Flavour Fries, Scampi Flavour Fries and Cheese Flavoured Moments.
In 1997, Walkers became the brand name of the Quavers and Monster Munch snacks.
In August 2000 Walkers launched Max, a brand with a range of crisps.
In 2001 Walkers buys Squares, a range of snacks from Smiths.
On October 1, 2001, Walkers introduced Max flavours, including Chargrilled Steak and Chip Shop Curry.
In 2002 Walkers bought Wotsits from Golden Wonder.
In May 2002 Walkers launched Sensations, a range of crisps in the UK.
In July 2002 Walkers introduced the Quavers flavours Salt & Vinegar and Prawn Cocktail
In 2003 Walkers bought Salt & Shake from Smiths.
In 2005 Walkers launched Wotsits Twisted, a range of cheese puffs in the UK.
In 2007 Walkers launched Sunbites, a range of crisps made using wholegrains.
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. The winner of the competition was Builder's Breakfast by Emma Rushin from Belper in Derbyshire.
In summer 2009 Walkers launched its premium Red Sky brand of "all natural" potato crisps and snacks.
In April 2010 the company launched a promotional campaign entitled the 'Walkers Flavour Cup' to find the world's favourite flavour. The campaign could be considered confusingly similar to promotional activities surrounding the 2010 Football World Cup. However Walkers is not a sponsor or affiliated with the FIFA World Cup in any way.
The flavour with the most fans at the end of the tournament will be declared the winner. Walkers encourage people to engage in the social media activity and upload Photos & Videos to their website proving people's Superfan status of Walkers Crisps. The best fan from each of the 15 flavours will win £10,000.
Notably, Walkers package their cheese and onion crisps in blue packets, and salt and vinegar in green. This is the opposite livery to most other UK crisp manufacturers, such as Hula Hoops, McCoys Crisps, Tayto and Golden Wonder.
PepsiCo (owner of Walkers' brand)
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