Walkers: 30% of sales come from non-HFSS snacks

Walkers is now more than halfway to reaching its ambition to make healthier snacks 50% of its sales by 2025 thanks in part to the success of new products including Walkers 45% Less Salt.

The Pepsico snacks brand said the 45% Less Salt range is now enjoyed in an estimated one in six UK households. A raft of other brands in Walkers’ portfolio have also switched to non-HFSS in the last 12 months, including Walkers Baked.

In April 2022, Walkers set out an ambition to make 50% of its snack sales come from healthier alternatives by 2025, targeting 30% to come from products that do not classify as high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS – as defined by the 2004/2005 nutrient profile model) and 20% from snacks sold in portions of 100 calories or less per packet.

Walkers is over halfway to reaching this goal, after only a year into an initial three-year investment of £35million to drive product innovation and reformulation. Non-HFSS snacks now account for 15% of Walkers’ overall sales, and portions of 100 calories or less account for a further 15% of sales. Two-thirds of all new products launched last year were not classified as HFSS.

A major step towards this progress was the launch of Walkers 45% Less Salt, the company’s first potato crisp to not be classified as high in fat, salt or sugar. Despite only launching last year, 45% Less Salt has already become a popular brand with sales over £30million, a loyal consumer following and estimated to be consumed by 1 in 6 households.

The 45% Less Salt range has met rising demand from consumers looking for a healthier alternative with the same Walkers taste. As a result of its success, the range is set to grow with the new arrival of 45% Less Salt Delicate Prawn Cocktail, which is now in market, providing more choice in healthier snacking.

Jason Richards, general manager of PepsiCo UK & Ireland, said: “Walkers has long been a leader in the development of healthier snacks, and last year we stepped up our efforts, setting our boldest ambition yet. I’m immensely proud of how far we’ve come in a year by reshaping our portfolio.

“We’ve done this through a combination of innovation with new products such as Walkers’ 45% Less Salt and Popworks, reformulation of established family favourites Walkers Baked and Doritos Dippers, and offering a broader range of our most loved brands in portions of under 100 calories or less.

“This shows there’s an increasing appetite for healthier choices in the UK. Our R&D team in Leicester has met this demand for healthier choices without compromising on our trademark taste and quality. We know there’s more work to do, and we remain confident that we can reach our ambition, dramatically shifting our snacks portfolio towards healthier alternatives.”

Since 2005, Walkers has led the way among snacks manufacturers in reformulating its products, reducing saturated fat by 70% and reducing salt by between 25% and 50% across the range. Walkers’ dedication to inspiring customers to make positive choices forms part of PepsiCo Positive, the company’s strategic end-to-end transformation plan with health and sustainability at the centre.

A raft of other brands in Walkers’ portfolio have also switched to non-HFSS in the last 12 months, including Walkers Baked which continues to be a top-selling brand with sales over £70million. Other non-HFSS product launches in the last year include Doritos Dippers, Doritos Pizza, Max Strong, PopWorks and Snack a Jacks.

 Further innovation is planned in the next two years, backed by advertising and marketing to encourage consumers towards healthier choices.

Experts based in Walkers’ R&D centre in Leicester have been at the forefront of all the snacks portfolio innovation and transformation, developing techniques and processes to reduce saturated fat and salt content without impacting the taste consumers love.

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