KP Snacks is fighting back in its perennial battle with rival Walkers.

It is launching a new range of premium flavoured nuts aimed at adults - just as Walkers releases its first nuts under the successful Sensations brand (The Grocer, July 26 2003, p 61).

Rolling out now, KP said new Cracked Black Pepper, Vine-Ripened Tomato and Mild Indian Spices peanut variants were aimed at the “massive £62m opportunity” in adult premium sharing.

KP sales director Peter Birkholm said the company had decided to shy away from the cashew and pistachio variants which dominate the adult market because peanuts are bought by nearly twice as many customers.

Its new bagged offerings will retail at £1.35 for 250g which KP claimed was significantly cheaper than other offerings. Walkers’ first Sensations nuts, rolling out next month in three variants -- Chilli Spice, Sour Cream & Onion and Cool Tomato Salsa Nut Clusters - are set to retail at £2.99 a pot.

Birkholm said: “We believe these new flavours will offer fantastic variety to the adult premium market at an accessible price.”