Supply of Walkers crisps will likely not return to normal levels until well into January, The Grocer has learned.
After weeks of shortages, the brand’s owner PepsiCo has warned customers they may not receive full service of its Walkers lines until the end of January 2022 in some cases, according to industry sources.
Walkers has been struck by supply issues since October - understood to be the result of an SAP upgrade at PepsiCo. The Grocer has approached PepsiCo for comment.
Exclusive data reveals sales of Walkers crisps in the mults hit their lowest in the week ending 6 November 2021, when they were down 38% to £7.5m versus £12m that same week in 2020 [Nielsen].
Things seem to be improving slowly – its value sales for the week ending 27 November were down a less dramatic 12% versus 2020, a £1.4m decline.
However other crisps suppliers have cashed in on Walkers struggles.
KP Snacks group sales director Andy Riddle said the Nik Naks and Hula Hoops owner had “seen accelerated demand levels across our portfolio”.
As a result, it was “working tirelessly, internally and with customers, to jointly navigate these exceptional circumstances to provide the best possible product availability for shoppers and to continue to support the category to thrive”, he added.
High demand meant a number of KP SKUs from Hula Hoops, Nik Naks, Tyrrell’s, Popchips, McCoy’s, Discos, Pom-Bear, Wheat Crunchies and Space Raiders were unavailable from Tesco this week, data shows [Assosia 2 w/e 6 December 2021].
Smaller crisps brands, are gaining shelf space too. Lines from Northern Irish Tayto have been added to Tesco’s meal deal.
A Tayto spokesman said it was “working closely” with customers to help “overcome the widely reported distribution challenges”.
PepsiCo ran a ‘humble pie flavour’ crisps ad in The Sun last week, apologising to shoppers for the ongoing shortages.