Christmas crisps and nuts take on festive flavour

By Catherine Boal

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Fruit

UK crisp and snack manufacturer Walkers is targeting the Christmas
market early this year with a range of new flavours designed to
corner the luxury seasonal market.

The PepsiCo-owned company's premium crisp range, Sensations, will see the introduction of sauteed wild mushroom and white wine sauce flavour along with crispy aromatic duck in hoi sin sauce variety and spicy chargrilled chilli oriental crackers.

Walkers, which holds a 46.1 per cent share of the UK crisp market, is just one of the many snack companies aiming to get an early lead on the traditionally profitable Christmas period when consumers gravitate towards the premium end of the market and health concerns are less prevalent.

In addition to the extended crisp range, Walkers plan to release new fruit and nut mixes in time for the festive period.

Snack selections will include cranberry and cashew nut with festive spices and pineapple and coconut with mixed spices.

The products will be available in Christmas style packaging, with the bigger 150g packs carrying a ribbon and bow.

Crisp sales throughout the industry are currently struggling thanks to health concerns and negative publicity from consumer bodies such as the British Heart Foundation who claimed last week that eating a packet a day for a year was equivalent to 'drinking' five litres of cooking oil.

According to Mintel figures, in the five years from 2000 to 2005, UK crisp sales dropped 9 per cent.

In order to counteract obesity worries, Walkers has spent the last year modifying its core brands. The company have cut saturated fats, salt and sugar across many ranges and, following a £15m (€22.2m) investment in R & D, released a baked crisp line containing 70 per cent less fat than its standard crisps.

Related topics Processing & packaging

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