Walkers Smoky Bacon and Roast Chicken flavours will now contain “free-range chicken” and “RSPCA Freedom Food pork”, following a decision made by the company at the start of the year to use more British produce.
A Walkers spokeswoman said the intention was not to limit choice for meat-free eaters but “to give our customers the best-tasting crisps. There are still nine great-tasting flavours that are suitable for vegetarians.”
But Su Taylor of the Vegetarian Society questioned the need to alter a successful recipe that had used meat-free seasoning to achieve the flavours of bacon and chicken.
“[The crisps] seemed to be very popular as they were so I think they’ll lose quite a few customers from the move,” she said. “It’s disappointing and a backwards step. There is no real need for a snack food like crisps to have meat in.”
The Walkers Crisps ad campaign will continue to be fronted by sports presenter Gary Lineker. It remains to be seen whether longstanding consumers will have an appetite for the new product.