Walkers Max Strong Range

Walkers Max Strong will roll out from mid-January

Walkers hopes to cash in on Brits’ growing thirst for beer with the launch of Max Strong, a range of ridged crisps designed to be paired with different styles of brew.

With the prominent on-pack claim ‘Perfect with beer’, the snacks come in three spicy variants from medium to extra hot. Chilli & Lime, Hot Chicken Wings and Jalapeño & Cheese will roll out from mid-January in a 150g sharing bag (rsp: £1.99) and a 50g grab pack (rsp: 80p). A Jalapeño & Cheese clip-strip bag (£1/90g) will launch in mid-March.

The “strong, spicy and exciting flavours” made the crisps different “from most other products in the market” said Walkers. Each had been “crafted to complement different types of popular beer” – particularly amber lager, pilsner and pale ale. The launch came because “savoury snacks only feature in 15% of beer occasions, with half of these being crisps”.

Max Strong’s “distinctive” black packaging aims to highlight the new crisps’ relevance for beer lovers, who have helped value sales of lager in grocery grow by 3.5% to £3,224.1m [Nielsen 52 w/e 9 September 2017]. Meanwhile, ale & stout is up 6% to £717.8m.

With “over 15 million weekly beer occasions taking place in the UK”, there was significant “demand for a perfect snack to accompany a pint” said Rachel Holms, Walkers senior marketing director at PepsiCo.

An “impactful” campaign will support Max Strong through TV, digital and sampling.