Walkers is the UK's best-selling savoury snack range, and one of the four most popular brands in British supermarkets. Walkers has a special place in the nation's affections, not least as a result of a long-running advertising campaign featuring former England footballer Gary Lineker, now the country's top TV sports presenter. That campaign is still going strong after more than 25 years (though Lineker now appears less frequently than before). In that time the Walkers banner has expanded beyond potato crisps to cover a wide range of other salty snacks. More recently the brand has maintained its popularity by launching an annual competition in which the public is invited to suggest unusual limited edition flavours. It has also reacted to concerns over healthy eating by reducing salt levels and introducing "better for you" baked snacks. Walkers was originally a regional brand, first launched after World War II in the Midlands city of Leicester, where the company is still based. It only came to prominence nationally in the 1980s following the steady decline of the original market-leading crisps brand Golden Wonder. Since 1991, the business has been the UK arm of global salty snack giant Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo. The combined UK portfolio - including Doritos, Quavers, Wotsits and other sub-brands - has annual retail sales of well over £1.2bn in 2020, of which around 55% was generated by the core Walkers brand. Doritos is the next biggest brand, and the #3 savoury bagged snack, at around £194m. Main competitors are Pringles, now owned by Kellogg's; and Hula Hoops, McCoy's and other brands owned by KP Snacks UK. In 2019, Walkers acquired hand-cooked premium crisp brand Pipers for a rumoured £20m. The smaller brand is sold primarily through the on-trade rather than supermarkets.
Capsule checked 13th April 2021
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Who are the competitors of Walkers? See Food Sector
Historical profile information for Walkers
Adbrands Daily Update 2nd Nov 2019: "All Mariah Carey Wants For Christmas". Despite her diva reputation, Mariah Carey has proved time and again that she's actually an unexpectedly good sport, and never afraid to poke a little fun at herself. Her starring role in AMV BBDO's ad for Walkers (the British equivalent to Lay's potato chips) may not reach quite as high as last year's fabulous Hostelworld spot from Lucky Generals but it's a close second. Almost makes up for the lack of long-time Walkers brand ambassador Gary Lineker. (Has our Gaz finally given up his day job?) And another thing: pigs in blankets is fine, but we can't impossible imagine what brussels sprouts crisps can possibly taste like. Not sure we would be able to finish a whole bag.
Adbrands Daily Update 23rd Aug 2019: "Snack Stash". Walkers Crisps - the UK equivalent to Lay's potato chips - are without doubt the country's top-selling salty snack. Yet the dominance of the main Walkers brand tends to overshadow other products in the local PepsiCo snack portfolio, especially traditional kids' favourites Wotsits, Monster Munch and Quavers. From the 1960s to the modern day most British kids, your writer included, grew up on these and it's hard to break a lifetime's habit. That's the concept behind AMV BBDO's fantastic new campaign, in which those three undervalued brands are finally treated to a little advertising love. Some of those hiding places are pure genius. Wotsit lipstick! What a truly brilliant idea!
Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Sep 2014: Ads of the Week: "Twitter Vending Machine". How game is TV sports pundit and longtime Walkers brand ambassador Gary Lineker! He's been doing this job for AMV BBDO for 20 years, and yet he's still prepared to be encased in a vending machine at a London bus-stop for days on end to interact with passers-by via Twitter. Well, no, not really, but the illusion is brilliantly and wittily executed. Lovely idea.
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