>>a look at how new brands are performing

potato heads
Launch date:
January 2005
Children’s snacks is widely perceived as a difficult market that is in need of new product development focusing on health and a genuine point of difference.
Spotting the gap in the market for a healthier crisps option for children, Walkers added to PepsiCo’s portfolio of better-for-you snacks with the launch of Potato Heads at the beginning of the year.
And so far, so good. With sales worth nearly £12m [ACNielsen MAT June 11, 2005], the newcomer has proved a popular choice and has gone down well with buyers.
“Everyone welcomed Potato Heads. They are new, they are well supported and they fit the health bill,” according to Musgrave Budgens Londis trading manager Heidi Jackson.
“Other than Potato Heads, there has been very little innovation in a market that is desperately in need of it.”
Launched specifically with kids in mind, but with the potential to appeal to a wider audience, the crinkly crunchy crisps contain no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. They are cooked in sunflower oil and, as such, have 70% less saturated fat than Walkers standard crisps.
The range has clocked up distribution of 61% of all possible outlets [ACNielsen MAT June 11, 2005] and has, not surprisingly, proved particularly popular in larger households with children. It is doing especially well in the north east and east of the country.
However, there is still room for improvement, with a respectable but not particularly impressive 16% of ACNielsen’s consumer panel having tried the product. Nearly 44% of those returned for a second purchase.
To build further on the success of the brand, Walkers added a prawn cocktail flavour to the range in March. According to the company, the ready salted and cheese-and-onion flavours are already in the top 25 bestselling snack brands in impulse.