Walkers fury at Tesco ‘copycat’

A row has broken out between Walkers Snacks and supermarket giant Tesco, after the latter launched a brand of crisps which Walkers believes is unacceptably similar to its upmarket Sensations brand.

Walkers chief executive Martin Glenn has accused Tesco of trying to “confuse and deceive” consumers and claimed the “lookalike” product contravenes industry codes.

Glenn, a former Walkers marketing director, says: “We are very disappointed because we feel consumers are being deliberately confused and deceived by this lookalike product. Tesco’s actions fly clearly in the face of agreed IGD codes. We have taken legal advice and spoken to senior Tesco executives.”

Tesco has decided not to back down, and a spokesman for the supermarket says: “We made a commitment back in 1997 not to launch copycat brands and this position has not changed. We do not believe that Tesco Temptations crisps are a copycat of the Walkers Sensations product.”

Temptations was launched nationally at the beginning of this year. Like Walkers’ upmarket offering, the crisps come in white packs featuring a black and white picture. Both brands are available in sea salt and black pepper flavour and both have “Thai” variants – Sensations’ Thai sweet chilli and Temptations’ Thai curry.

The row echoes previous spats between supermarkets and brands over own-label goods, most famously the row between Coca-Cola and Sainsbury’s over the supermarket’s own-brand Classic Cola. Sainsbury’s eventually backed down and changed the product’s packaging.

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