Innovation is at the Heart of the Midlands, including the invention of Walkers Crisps!
Walkers Crips was founded in 1948 in Leicester, England by Henry Walker.
In 1948, Leicester butcher Henry Walker took the humble potato and created a delicious new snack, Walkers Crisps. Walker was a successful butcher from Mansfield, who relocated in the 1880s to run a shop in Leicester, where Walkers & Sons began making meat pies. But with post war rationing making meat scarce, and as a result production dropped dramatically.
Ever the innovator he started looking at alternative products. Under the guidance of managing director R.E. Gerrard, in 1948 the firm began frying potato slices in a fish fryer. Increasingly popular with the public, he decided to shift the company focus to frying potatoes to make crisps.
What was the inspiration for cheese and onion-flavoured Walkers Crisps?
When meat rationing ended in 1954, the company continued making its popular crisps. Due to the popularity of the ploughman’s lunch in the 1950s, Walkers introduced the cheese and onion-flavoured variety the same year to try to replicate that flavour. It became its best-selling 'cheese and onion' flavoured crisps. In the 60s and 70s, Walkers & Son developed three additional flavours to match the taste buds of the nation.
Salt & Vinegar – inspired by the nation’s love of fish and chips.
Prawn Cocktail – paying tribute to the iconic 70s starter.
Roast Chicken – based on the love of the traditional roast lunch
In 1982 Walkers opened the largest crisp production plant in the world in Leicester.
It's the largest crisp production plant in the world, producing over 11 million bags of crisps per day and using about 800 tons of potatoes. The company produces a wide variety of flavours for their potato crisps. Walkers dominates the British crisp market today, with over 55 percent share.
In 1989 was acquired by Lay's owner, Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo
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