Walkers to introduce health icon to crisps packaging

LONDON - Walkers, under pressure on the issue of obesity, is to introduce a healthy living icon on its packaging to educate consumers about nutrition.

The decision to add the icon is part of a review of packaging across the entire Walkers range, with PepsiCo UK chairman Martin Glenn pledging to "take advantage of packaging opportunities to educate consumers regarding balanced diets".

A number of packaging and labelling concepts are being evaluated by Walkers. Details of the overhaul will be finalised by early next year and will be rolled out across its product ranges.

Branding agency Landor, which created the designs for Walkers Sensations, is understood to be working on the pack revisions.

In a letter to Marketing, Glenn admitted that consumer confusion has led to Walkers aiming to ensure its nutritional labelling is "as clear and simple as possible" so that consumers can make informed purchasing decisions. He added that Walkers already provides more nutritional information than it is obliged to.

As part of its commitment to reduce fat by 50% by the end of 2006, Walkers is replacing the cooking oil it uses with a healthier type. It is also developing snacks with significantly reduced levels of sugar, salt and fat, which will go on sale next year.

Last week, Walkers revealed it had no plans to scrap its Big Eat range, despite the publication of the Food and Drink Federation's 'Manifesto for Food and Drink' and the decision by Masterfoods and Cadbury to axe their king-size chocolate bars.

Walkers is to run a £3m TV ad campaign, breaking this month, which will promote its commitment to health.

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