Walkers to launch healthier Potato Heads crisp range

LONDON - Walkers is to launch a marketing push for a new lower fat and salt content crisp range, featuring 'Toy Story' character and classic children's toy Mr Potato Head.

The new brand will appear in January 2005 and will be called Walkers Potato Heads, after Walkers owner PepsiCo UK licensed the use of the character from toy company Hasbro.

According to media reports, the advertising will feature Gary Lineker dressed as the character.

The new product joins a "healthier" crisp range that also includes Walkers Lites, with further low fat and salt products also in the pipeline, according to reports.

A spokesperson for PepsiCo said: "PepsiCo is now in a position to confirm that in January 2005 they will be launching Walkers Potato Heads, a potato crisp that is cooked in high oleic sunflower oil, and contains 30% less fat and 70% less saturated fat than Walkers' standard crisps."

The company said that the flavours would include cheese and onion and prawn cocktail, with further information to be revealed next month.

This latest launch comes amid a deluge of criticism from the health lobby over high salt and fat content across the snacks industry, as well as the targeting of children in advertising.

This month, Walkers took further steps in its attempt to allay the health lobby with the launch of an advertising push surrounding free pedometers, being distributed as part of its "Get Britain Walking" campaign.

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO is the long-serving ad agency on the Walkers brand, creating the popular series of ads starring Lineker.

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