Walkers releases digital HFSS guide to help retailers navigate the impact of new regulations on crisps and snacks

Ahead of the new HFSS legislation coming into effect this October in England, the nation’s favourite crisps brand[1], Walkers, has issued a new digital HFSS guide to assist retailers in navigating the implications for the savoury snacks category. The guide is intended to help retailers understand whether they are likely to be impacted this October and includes information that Walkers hopes will help them to take appropriate action for their stores while maximising their savoury snacking sales. 

The guide will also become available in different languages, including Punjabi and Hindi – for greater inclusivity.

In support of the guide, Walkers will be releasing a ‘Walkers Hub’ on *shopt – a dedicated area where convenience retailers can access industry-leading content. A crisp display generator tool will be available, retailers can receive bespoke crisp layouts for their shelves, by entering a few simple details about their store and shoppers. Retailers also have the opportunity to earn ‘rewards’ for stocking specific Walkers Hero 25 products (Walkers’ list of best-selling SKUs) and merchandising display support via the *shopt app. 

In addition, Walkers will be applying clear labelling to product cases, offering guidance to retailers on whether the product is non-HFSS and where best to position in-store. The outlined approach aims to drive awareness of the legislation and clear up any confusion on the specifics. It will also help retailers navigate the upcoming changes in regulations and continue to grow savoury snacking sales.

Kirsten Reid, impulse category management channel lead for PepsiCo UK, commented: “Our focus right now is on helping retailers to navigate and prepare for the upcoming HFSS regulations. Our digital guide will focus on snacking growth strategies and includes dos and don’ts and handy visuals too.  Firstly, concentrating on maintaining space of best-selling products in the main fixture.  Secondly, maximising off-fixture displays in high traffic areas around the store which will help drive impulse purchases.  And finally, supplementing both with reformulated or new non-HFSS products from well-known and trusted brands that deliver on taste and health needs. We also recognise the implications of the new regulations and the associated complexities and are therefore heavily investing in our teams to ensure that they are well equipped to provide tailored assistance.

Reid continues: “Here at Walkers, we will continue to offer a balanced portfolio of crisps and snacks that don’t compromise on taste, retaining focus on our much loved and best-selling product ranges such as Walkers, Walkers MAX, Quavers, Cheetos, Wotsits and Doritos. To complement this, we’ve introduced several taste-led non-HFSS lines which we believe will work best in this channel, including: Walkers Oven Baked, Walkers MAX Strong, PopWorks, and Walkers 45% less salt.”

Within the convenience channel, crisps and snacks have continued to be a critical sales driver, with growth of 2.4% over the last five years.As always, the savoury snacks category is well-positioned to adapt to the changing consumer landscape and to the HFSS regulations. Snacking remains a huge part of day-to-day UK life, and with the average consumer snacking five times per day, Walkers are embracing the opportunity to deliver against taste and providing a balanced choice of snacks.

Earlier this year, Walkers set an ambitious goal that by 2025, half of its snacks sales will come from products that are non-HFSS or from products sold in portions of 100 calories or less. Walkers remains committed to encouraging consumers towards healthier choices without needing to compromise on taste. A wide-ranging NPD pipeline has already seen the launch of Walkers 45% Less Salt and non- HFSS Walkers MAX Hot Sauce and Fiery Prawn Cocktail, which will be followed by numerous other innovations and reformulations to satisfy evolving consumer demands.