PepsiCo has this week announced that 30 per cent of its Walkers sales are now from healthier snacks.
The business in April last year set out an ambition to make 50 per cent of Walkers snack sales come from healthier alternatives by 2025, targeting 30 per cent to come from non-HFSS products and 20 per cent from snacks sold in portions of 100 Calories or less per packet
PepsiCo said they are 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 per cent of Walkers’ overall sales, and portions of 100 Calories or less account for a further 15 per cent of sales. Two-thirds of all new products launched last year were not classified as HFSS.
“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,” commented 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.”
Lunched last year, Walkers 45% Less Salt, the first potato crisp from PepsiCo to not be classified as HFSS, has already become a popular brand with sales over £30m, with a loyal consumer following and estimated to be consumed by 1 in 6 households.
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.
“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,” Richards said.
A raft of other brands in the 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 £70m. Other non-HFSS product launches in the last year include Doritos Dippers, Doritos Pizza, Max Strong, PopWorks and Snack a Jacks.
PepsiCo said further innovation is planned in the next two years, backed by advertising and marketing to encourage consumers towards healthier choices.