PepsiCo will launch its 30% reduced fat Mighty Lights line at the end of July across UK retailers. The ridged potato chips will come in three flavors – Cheese & Onion, Lightly Salted and Roast Chicken.
The product joins PepsiCo’s reduced-fat kids' range alongside Baked Stars (70% reduced fat) and Hoops and Crosses (30% reduced fat). PepsiCo said the product will offer more variety for parents and recommends that retailers merchandize the three potato chips together - “to help parents easily identify family snacks which are lower in fat”.
However, nutrition and public health expert Jack Winkler said that the products need “marketing muscle” behind them to really take off.
“If these products - which are in principle beneficial - are to realize their potential, they must be widely consumed,” Winkler told BakeryandSnacks.com.
“PepsiCo can’t just float these products onto the market with a one-shot marketing campaign. The marketing strategy is as important as the nutrition itself from a public health perspective,” he said.
The range could positively impact kids’ health
Winkler said that, in principle, the Mighty Lights product launch is exactly the strategy snack makers should be taking in addressing public health concerns and therefore there is a place in the market for them.
“Whether in practice this will have enough impact to affect the public health of children, is yet to be seen. But Walkers is the dominant brand in this subsector, and crisps is a popular category.
“If PepsiCo could expand the products and get them accepted as an alternative to regular full-fat crisps, these three products alone could have an impact on public health,” he said.
Taste will be crucial to kids
There are still plenty of important questions unanswered, Winkler said. “What are the taste tests that have been done on this product? Could a seven year old tell the difference? Are they going to feel cheated?”
If children don’t like the product, there will be no repeat purchases, he said.
“When it comes to Mighty Lights, Baked Stars or Hoops and Crosses, you have a group of consumers who value taste above everything else,” Winkler said.