Walkers in £3m Cheetos relaunch

Walkers is planning a second relaunch for Cheetos in a last ditch attempt to revitalise the brand.

The company is to spend 3m on the cheese puff snack. It considered delisting the snack following the failure of its Sun Dog popcorn brand, which only lasted a year in the UK before it was shelved (MW November 18 1999).

Some 1.3m was spent on advertising Cheetos in the year to June 1999 (AC Nielsen-MEAL).

Cheetos packs will be increased from 15g to 24g for “a greater shelf impact” and will contain stick-on tattoos for children. Its price will also be increased from 15p to 27p.

The Cheetos cartoon character Chester the Cheetah will appear in a new TV campaign to support the relaunch.

Smiths introduced the brand to the UK in 1990, before the merger of Smiths and Walkers under the PepsiCo banner.

But Cheetos struggled in the UK market – with many observers blaming imported US ads – and was withdrawn in 1992. It was relaunched in 1998.

Cheetos has so far failed to dent the success of Golden Wonder children’s brand Wotsits, which remains the bagged snack market leader.

An industry source says: “Walkers is going after Wotsits again this year. It is persisting with Cheetos because it uses a unique production process and can’t afford to get rid of the machinery.”

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