Walkers to launch Sensations nuts

Walkers Snacks is preparing to launch an attack on the dominance of United Biscuits-owned KP Nuts in the savoury nut sector, with the launch of Sensations Nuts. The range will be launched in time for the Christmas period.

The nuts will have a savoury coating and it is understood there will be six flavours, including chilli and salsa. Available in pots, priced at &£2.99, the nuts will be positioned as a product for parties and for sharing. The range is expected to be supported by a high-profile advertising campaign created by Abbott Mead Vickers.BDDO.

Walkers’ only previous foray outside its core crisp business was cheese-flavoured popcorn brand Sun Dog. It was shelved in 1999, after just a year.

According to research company Key Note, the nut market was worth &£150m last year and is undergoing growth driven by nut mixes, different nuts and new flavours. Planters, owned by Trigon Snacks, is launching sea-salt and black pepper flavoured cashews, as well as yogurt-covered fruit and nut mixes, in time for Christmas.

Industry insiders says that Walkers is likely to use the Christmas period as a test for Sensations nuts. If they do not meet expectations, it is thought that Walkers would move quickly to ditch the product, rather than harm the Sensations brand.

Walkers has recently extended the Sensations range into oriental crackers and has introduced new flavours such as slow-roasted lamb and mint.

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