BRANDING: Walkers goes upmarket with Sensations launch

Walkers is launching an upmarket crisp range called 'Sensations' in

a move into premium product snacks that marks a significant departure

for the brand.



The product, which has been developed through Landor, will target ABC1s,

and Walkers hopes that it will be seen as upmarket enough to be consumed

alongside a bottle of Chardonnay rather than with a can of cola,

competing with the likes of Kettle Chips.



Landor declined to comment on the launch. However, the design and

packaging of Sensations is thought to be key to its upmarket positioning

and according to sources will be much more sophisticated than anything

currently in the market.



The new flavours will not be given traditional names, but will have a

contemporary theme.



The product itself will be distinct from other Walkers ranges because

the company has used proprietary technology to manufacture better

tasting crisps.



Sensations is expected to be company's biggest launch of the year, with

a TV spend of around £2m.



Victoria Beckham will star in the advertising campaign for the brand,

through Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. The ad is due to air in May and is

believed to feature both Beckham and Gary Lineker, the long-running star

of Walkers' advertising. Media is by MediaVest.



The launch of premium ranges is a growth area for crisp producers, with

the standard crisps market battered by constant innovation from snacks

manufacturers.



Kettle Chips, which already positions itself as a high-quality product,

is also launching a new super-premium range called 'Specials'.



In December last year Datamonitor released a report into the handheld

snacks market which showed that overall UK potato chip sales fell from

£1060m in 2000 to £1033m in 2001.



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