Walkers plans popcorn snack brand ‘Sun Dog’

Walkers Snack Foods is to launch a new cheese-flavoured popcorn snack, called Sun Dog, in a new foray outside its core crisps business.

Industry sources say Sun Dog will go on sale at the end of March in 15g and 100g bags, priced at 15p and 99p respectively. It is thought there will also be a multipack containing ten 15g bags priced 1.29.

The snack is expected to come in pale blue bags with a picture of a cartoon-style dog with a wide grin.

Walkers refuses to comment on the launch but one industry source says: “Walkers is going after the same market as that which appeals to its Cheetos brand.”

Sun Dog will be the first product Walkers has launched since Max crisps, which have a ridged texture and are sold in three flavours: Screaming Salt and Vinegar, Punching Paprika, and Hard Cheese and Onion (MW August 27). It also recently spent 15m on relaunching its crisp brand, adding a new sun-shaped Frito-Lay logo to all packaging (MW April 9 1998).

Sales of Walkers crisps dropped 4.7 per cent from 430.5m to 410m for the year ending April 19 (IRI Infoscan).

It is expected that Walkers roster agency Abbott Mead Vickers. BBDO will handle advertising for the Sun Dog brand while media buying will be through MediaVest. Walkers hopes to tap in to the 66m popcorn market, 41 per cent of which is accounted for by retail sales.

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