'Healthy' crisps aim to improve Walkers image

By Catherine Boal

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Lay's Uk

Following a £15m (€22.2m) investment in research and development at
the company, UK crisp giant Walkers has launched a new 'healthier'
range to attract snack-loving consumers worried about their
waistlines.

While consumers become reluctance to indulge in foods commonly associated with obesity, drives to combat the slump in the snack industry have centred around cutting trans fats and salt levels in traditionally high salt and fat foods such as crisps.

And Walkers is the latest company to branch out into providing healthier alternatives to their standard core brand by regulating portion sizes and fat content.

The company, which is owned by PepsiCo and holds a 46.1 per cent of the UK crisp market said the products contain 70 per cent less fat than its regular crisps and is sold in 20g packs rather than the standard 34.5g

The new range is part of an overhaul of Walkers products across the board following unfavourable publicity for the company after it was criticised by the UK's Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) for 'misleading' claims giving the impression salt had been reduced for all products the company manufactures rather than selected brands.

In addition, children's snacking habits have been hitting the headlines and several British schools are actively promoting healthier diets among pupils.

A Walkers' spokesperson told bakeryandsnacks.com: "This is a 'first to market' following millions of pounds of R&D investment. Walkers has been in the spotlight recently regarding the proposals on advertising to children and this week will be the first school term since crisps were banned from school vending machines.

"Interestingly, compared with many other products that are still permitted under the new vending rules, the new Walkers low fat baked product compares better nutritionally but would still be banned as it is still technically a 'crisp'"

The baked crisps are available in cheese and onion, salt and vinegar and ready salted flavours.

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