What: Walkers Max Strong Chilli & Lime
Where: Bagged snacks
How much: £1.99/150g
Why: The UK’s crisps sector has grown by 3.6% to £914.5m in take-home value sales on volumes up 1.9% [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 28 January 2018]. This comes amid a relentless flurry of NPD in which strong flavours have gained standout. Hence Max Strong, a spicy trio that Walkers launched early this year – each variant meant to be paired with a different style of beer. These Chilli & Lime crisps are the mildest of the three, with Hot Chicken Wings and Jalapeño & Cheese promising fierier experiences.
Consumer verdict: The branding and presentation attracted the interest of our shoppers pre-trial, with many expressing great desire to dig in. There were plaudits for the “dark, golden colour” and “strong spicy heat”. It was “good for sharing”, with “a lot in the bag for your money”. In spite of an overall score comfortably above the category average, Max Strong did not escape criticism. The chilli flavour “overpowered the lime”, some claimed, and the snack was “a bit high-priced”.
Pre-trial purchase: 69%
Post-trial purchase: 72%
Better than what’s out there: 59%
New and different: 69%
Overall score: 44/50