Walkers Crisps, made by Walkers Snack Foods Ltd, are the most popular brand of crisp in the UK. The founder of the company, Henry Walker, was originally a pork butcher in the 1880’s. During the Second World War, meat was very scarce, Walkers shops were sold out by 10am every day leaving the factory working at 50 percent capacity. The company’s managing director at the time, R.E. Gerrard, considered other uses for the factory, such as ice cream production. Eventually a decision was made, the company began making potato crisps, which were not rationed but also popular. Today, Walkers crisps are produced in Leicester, Swansea and Peterlee in County Durham.
- Walker – Ready Salted, Salt and Vinegar, Cheese and Onion, Barbecue, Cheese & Chives
- Walkers Lite – Low fat version of the main Walker brands.
- Walkers Max – Low fat, big bags with flavours such as “Punching Paprika”, “Screaming Salt and Vinegar” and “Hard Cheese and Onion”.
- Quavers – Cheese, Salt & Vinegar and Prawn Cocktail flavours.
- French Fries – Ready Salted, Cheese and Onion, and Salt & Vinegar flavours.
- Monster Munch – Pickled Onion.
How the Crisps are made
Crisp production at Walkers can be split into 4 stages: Potato Preparation, Slicing & Washing, Cooking & Flavouring, and Quality & Value.
- Potatoes released from a hopper pass through a cleaner which cleans the mud off the potatoes, along with any other surface matter.
- Stones removed from the mixture.
- All Potatoes cut down to below 80mm, and smaller ones rejected.
Slicing & Washing
- Potatoes sliced into crisp thickness
- Potatoes washed twice in cold water to remove starch
- “Airblower” then removes excess water
Cooking & Flavouring
- Slices immersed into the oil and then float.
- When 90% of water has evaporated slices are fully immersed into the 4500 litre cooker at a temperature of 360 degrees.
- Process is “hooded” so only clean steam enters the atmosphere.
- Crisps are flavoured using powdered flavouring sprinkled from rotating drum.
Quality & Value
- Weighing machines automatically calculate best combination to fit into packet at the required weight.
- Bags are sealed and separated to emerge as a normal packet of crisps.
I enjoy Walkers very much, but other brands such as Golden Wonder are creating good combination especially with their hot and spicy flavours.