Walkers has made “significant progress” towards achieving its 2025 health ambition, with 30% of sales now from healthier snacks.
In April 2022, the crisp giant set out an ambition to make 50% of Walkers 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) and 20% from snacks sold in portions of 100 calories or less per packet.
The company is over halfway to reaching this goal, after only a year into an initial three-year investment of £35 million 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 business’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 £30 million. As a result of its success, the range is set to grow with the new arrival of 45% Less Salt Delicate Prawn Cocktail.
“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,” said Jason Richards, general manager of PepsiCo UK & Ireland.
“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.”