Walkers is launching a new proposition aimed at social sharing occasions, which are growing at +3.5% (Kantar Worldpanel Usage, 52 w/e 21/05/17) and driving the growth of total savoury snacking.

Intended to appeal to beer lovers and therefore help retailers drive cross-category purchases, Walkers Max Strong is a new range of ridged crisps in spicy flavours to deliver maximum flavour.

Rolling out from mid-January, Walkers Max Strong will be available in three fiery flavours across a heat spectrum ranging from medium to extra hot – ‘Chilli & Lime’, ‘Hot Chicken Wings’ and ‘Jalapeño & Cheese’. All flavours will be available in a sharing bag (150g, rrp £1.99) and grab bag format (50g, rrp £0.80). There will also be one Jalapeño & Cheese Clip Strip Bag (90g, rrp £1.00) which will launch from mid-March, offering retailers the perfect solution for the beers, wines and spirits aisle. Each flavour has been carefully crafted to complement different types of popular beer.

Research reveals that savoury snacks only feature in 15% of beer occasions, with half of these being crisps. With this launch, Walkers will be helping retailers to add incremental growth to the savoury snacking category (Kantar Worldpanel Usage 52 w/e 21 May 2017). Walkers Max Strong has been developed to ensure that the right product delivers against the right occasion, with its indulgent ridges providing maximum fiery flavour.

Rachel Holms, Walkers senior marketing director at PepsiCo, said: “We are seeing an increase in social occasions, and while savoury snacks are playing an increasingly important role, there is no mainstream ‘perfect snack’ for this occasion. We saw this as an untapped opportunity in the market and have created Walkers Max Strong to complement beer, to answer this demand for a perfect snack to accompany a pint. 

“It is no surprise that beer and snacks can play a role when it comes to social sharing, with over fifteen million weekly beer occasions taking place in the UK, with crisps being well-placed given existing consumption moments (Kantar Worldpanel Usage 52 w/e 21 May 2017).”

Distinctive packaging clearly highlights Walkers Max Strong’s relevance for beer lovers, and the launch will be supported with an impactful marketing campaign, crossing TV, digital and sampling. Retailers will be able to get hold of POS materials including FSDUs, counter top units and clip strips which will enable them to fulfil merchandising in their Beer, Wine and Spirits areas.