Walkers has at last officially unveiled one of the year's worst kept secrets in grocery.
Plans for a Great British Takeaways range of crisps were first uncovered in March after brand ambassador Gary Lineker was spotted filming an ad for the new offerings in south London (The Grocer, March 15, p67). The likely theme of the launch was not difficult to predict as brand icon Lineker was dressed as a maharajah and riding on an elephant.
Walkers has confirmed that three ethnic-inspired flavours are to line up on shelf later this month as part of a new limited edition range based on popular takeaway flavours ­ Chicken Tikka Masala, Sweet and Sour, and Chinese Spare Rib.
Rolling out to stores from July 14, the launch will be supported by a £2.5m media campaign including radio ads and the new TV treatment. The latter features Lineker and Meera Syal playing her Granny Sushila alter ego from BBC comedy The Kumars at No 42. The Bollywood-style ad will break on July 24 for a four-week run, while Lineker will also be earning his keep as brand ambassador with appearances on the Patrick Kielty Show and Richard and Judy.
Walkers trade marketing manager Nicky Seal said: "Flavour is a key reason for people choosing our brand. We therefore ensure new flavours are constantly developed."
Great British Takeaways builds on last year's successful Great British Flavour range which saw Heinz Tomato Ketchup and Marmite varieties become permanent lines.