Mary Carmichael
Walkers is set to relaunch the iconic Smiths Salt & Shake crisps brand under its own banner, claiming the pack has been a "sleeping giant" for decades.
Plans include an improved product and new matt film packaging featuring Walkers branding. Packs are due for launch in the New Year.
The bagged snack giant has also increased the weight of a single pack to 30g to bring prices into line with the rest of its standard crisps portfolio.
Marketing support will take the form of a £1.5m TV campaign showing brand ambassador Gary Lineker up to his regular crisp-stealing antics. Scheduled to hit the small screen in mid January, it will run for four weeks.
The campaign is targeted at the whole family although Walkers' research shows that the format ­ having the salt in a separate sachet so the crisps can be flavoured according to taste ­ appeals particularly to older consumers.
According to the company, more than 80% of the brand's current sales are to over 45s, and it claims this sector of the population is set to grow 13% in the next 10 years.
Trade marketing manager Cath Painter said the relaunch aimed to boost sales in the same way as last year's relaunch of Walkers Square Crisps, which she claimed tripled sales of the brand. Rsp: 27p, 30g pack and £1.23, 6 x 24g.