Walkers to ditch Sun Dog brand

Walkers Snack Foods is to shelve its Sun Dog cheese-flavoured popcorn brand only a year after its launch.

A Walkers spokeswoman confirms the savoury snack brand, which is handled by roster advertising agency Abbott Mead Vickers. BBDO, is likely to be ditched in the first quarter of next year.

The spokeswoman adds: “Sun Dog is still in production for the time being. But a decision to withdraw it is being discussed and that could happen in the first quarter of next year.

“Walkers has only been producing Sun Dog since March, but cheese popcorn is obviously a niche market,” she says.

Sun Dog was Walkers’ first foray outside its core crisps business in an attempt to tap into the £66m UK popcorn market.

An official statement from the company says: “Sun Dog neither has been nor is about to be delisted in the immediate future.”

But an industry source says: “Walkers is killing off Sun Dog because it has been a flop. It was launched as a healthy snack for kids, but it never caught on.”

Cheese puff snack Cheetos, which was launched in May last year (MW May 14, 1998), is also facing scrutiny from within the company.

The Walkers spokeswoman says: “Possibilities of a future Cheeto’s advertising campaign are also under discussion, but it may be held back to see how the product performs and whether a new push would be worthwhile.”