Another Leicester victory: PepsiCo’s free chips so popular they go on sale
PepsiCo-owned Walkers – which is produced in Leicester at the world’s largest potato chip factory – originally made 32,000 packets of the ‘Salt & Victory’ chips to give free to home supporters at the soccer game on May 7 between Leicester City and Everton.
The match marked Leicester City becoming Premier League champions. This was a huge shake-up for the sport - at the start of the season bookmakers were giving odds of 5,000-1 that the underdogs would win.
Walkers was founded in Leicester in 1948, and long-term brand ambassador Gary Lineker – a former international soccer player and TV personality – was born in the city.
“We are incredibly proud of our Leicester heritage and everyone at Walkers is unbelievably excited about Leicester City’s success in the Premier League this season,” said Walkers marketing director Thomas Barkholt.
We wanted to do something really special
“So when Leicester City won the trophy, we wanted to do something really special to mark the occasion.”
Although there were originally no plans to produce the blue and gold packs for retail, Walkers said it was inundated with requests from Leicester fans wanting to get their hands on the chips.
“As a result, we made the decision to extend production and make the ‘Salt & Victory’ packs available to retailers throughout Leicestershire,” added Barkholt.
Packs of the limited-edition Leicester City Walkers crisps are in big demand.
They have sold on eBay for more than £10 ($14.45) - even empty ones - and one seller currently has a lot containing the Salt & Victory pack and Vardy Salted pack listed for £45 ($65).
Profits go to charity
All profits from the 32.5g special-edition packets, which carry a recommended price of 57p ($0.82), will go to charity The Leicester City Football Club Foxes Foundation. This raises funds for a range of different local charities in Leicestershire.
Walkers, which was acquired by PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division in 1989, has a history of producing limited-edition chips to mark the soccer team’s success.
Last December, it produced ‘Vardy Salted’ crisps that were given away to fans to celebrate Jamie Vardy’s record-breaking goalscoring streak earlier this season, and the company also created a limited-edition flavor to mark the team’s promotion to the Premiership in 2003.