Getting the Flavours right for a new range of Crisps


Walkers were developing a completely new range of crisps for a different target market. But how were they to ensure that they got the flavours right?

Background – Different crisps for a different target market

Walkers Sensations are one of the most popular ranges of premium crisps in the UK. When launched in 2002 they revolutionised the UK premium crisp market and were the first to introduce Thai Sweet Chilli flavour crisps.

However, Walkers Sensations flavours are, by design, more exotic international flavours and the Walkers team identified a market of slightly older consumers who loved crisps, were looking for more premium products, but preferred more familiar deli flavours.

Walkers deli crisps

Walkers put together a team of very talented development chefs and, working with them, identified a range of popular deli flavours that they thought would translate well into crisps. Each chef had developed their versions of a range of classic recipes, the problem was:

  • Which version of each recipe should they use,
  • How should they measure if the flavour journey was being delivered in the best way when translated into a crisp flavour.

This is where The Marketing Clinic came into the process:


The Question – How do we develop a Taste Profile for the new range

The question that we needed to answer was not:

“Whose version of ‘Ham Hock with Mature Cheddar and Farmhouse Chutney’ was the best?”


“What is the Emotional Journey that we need to deliver, and which recipe delivers it most accurately?”


The Marketing Clinic Approach – Using Flavour as a tool to deliver the. best Emotional Journeys

We spent a wonderful couple of days in a development kitchen somewhere in the Midlands with the chefs creating their best dishes and us profiling them with ordinary target consumers.

The question was never to ask which ones they preferred, but to identify the Taste and Emotional Journeys that each recipe delivered and to understand how the best emotional responses from consumers were evoked by what sensory journeys.

By the end of two days, we could show exactly:

  • What the ideal Emotional Journey was for the range to deliver.
  • How this could be delivered with a target Shape of Taste for the brand
  • How each recipe developed matched or varied from this ideal Shape of Taste.

We went on to write Taste Briefs for each flavour variant, pick the recipes that best matched these and make recommendations regarding how they could be adapted to get an even closer match to the ideal.

Armed with this information the flavour developers were able to go away and develop a first pass of each flavour as a crisp. A couple of months later, we were then able to profile these crisps with consumers to check their match to the ideal in terms of both the Taste Journey delivered and – more importantly – the Emotional Journey.

We then passed further development notes onto the flavour developers to further improve these flavours.


The Outcome – A great new range of Crisps

Walkers Deli Chips are now a very successful addition to the Walkers Range. If you are in the UK give them a try and see what you think.