PepsiCo to launch ‘healthier’ snacks

Reduced-fat and low-sugar adult and children’s snacks form two-pronged assault on market

PepsiCo is responding to the obesity crisis with the launch of two brands in the healthier snacking category. The launches, aimed separately at adults and children, are understood to be part of PepsiCo’s health and wellbeing strategy.

The children’s brand, Walkers Potato Head, will be launched in January with a £2m ad campaign. The range will be low in salt; have no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives; and will have 70 per cent less saturated fat than ordinary crisps. It will comprise three flavours.

It is understood that Walkers has licensed the Mr Potato Head character from the Disney film Toy Story. This is the first time the UK food company has used characters to promote healthier options. Food companies have come under pressure from groups such as the Food Standards Agency in recent months to stop promoting foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar (MW July 8).

The “adult” product, Quaker Seasons, will follow later in the year. It too will have a significant advertising spend behind it. Seasons is a range of mini-crispbreads that are oven-baked rather than fried and have a fat content of only ten per cent. There will be three flavours, including salt and cracked black pepper.

A PepsiCo spokeswoman says the company is considering several product launches for both brands and that nothing has been confirmed.

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