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Crisp giant Walkers is taking its Max Strong brand into the nuts category.

The PepsiCo-owned brand has created a trio of double-coated peanuts under its Walkers Max Strong brand. They are: Spicy Wasabi, Jalapeno & Cheese, and Chilli & Lime (rsp: £2/175g).

The nuts category was in growth but was an area of the savoury snacks category that tends to stick with what it knows, relying on tried and tested flavours such as salted, dry and honey roasted”, said Walkers.

The NPD was an ideal accompaniment to beer and would attract young adults to the category, which currently was “an area of the savoury snacks category that is predominantly shopped by the over-34s”, it added.

“We believe that’s down to a lack of new and exciting flavours that actually spark the interest of young adults,” said Walkers Max brand manager Jonny Roberts, adding the trio offered “three levels of heat, catering to those that like a little spice through to those that like their snacks a hotter”.

He added retailers would “be able to drive awareness of the new products as well as cross-category sales with merchandising in and around the beer fixture” because “a third of all nuts shopping trips include a trip to the beers, wines and spirits aisle”.

The launch of Walkers’ peanuts will be backed by a digital marketing push and PoS materials.

It comes as take-home sales of nuts grew steadily over the first year of the pandemic, rising 12.9% to £653.1m, on volumes up 14.8% [Kantar 52 w/e 27 December 2020].

And Walkers isn’t the only big name in crisps eyeing growth in nuts. Tyrrells debuted in nuts in early 2020 with the launch of a duo of premium nut medleys.

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