Walkers launches Wotsits and Monster Munch with big recipe change that’s potato-free

SNACK giant Walkers has launched three new crisp flavours alongside a big recipe change that has seen potatoes banished from bags.

Two new Wotsits flavours and a new Monster Munch offering have been launched, all made with chickpeas.

Walkers has launched three new crisp varieties all made from chickpea


Walkers has launched three new crisp varieties all made from chickpea

From today crisp lovers will be able to grab bags of cheese toastie flavour Wotsits, crispy bacon flavour Wotsits and BBQ sauce flavour Monster Munch – all without a spud in sight.

The chickpea-based snacks are all less than 100 calories a bag and contain 25% less salt than their potato counterparts.

Their launch comes as Walkers aims to reach the milestone 50% of its sales coming from snacks that are not HFSS (high in fat, salt and sugar), or which are under 100 calories, by 2025.

The drive follows a government crackdown as part of efforts to tackle obesity and encourage people to make healthier choices when shopping.

In 2022 the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) introduced restrictions banning HFSS products from key shop displays.

Junk food like crisps and sweets can no longer be stocked at tills, promotion areas at the end of aisles or at the front of stores.

Walkers has said its new recipe has been unveiled following years of testing as it worked to create a light and airy puffed snack.

They will be available at supermarkets including Sainsbury’s and Tesco, priced ay £2 for a six-pack multipack.

Walkers confirm they’ve discontinued a fan favourite flavour

Karen Scott, head of portfolio transformation, at Walkers’ owner PepsiCo, said: “We’re always looking for new ways to bring people a greater variety of products that include diverse ingredients while maintaining the trademark taste and quality Walkers is known for.

“After years of continuously evolving our portfolio and working closely with our R&D teams, we’re excited to be launching our first chickpea-based product with three brand-new flavours of our popular Wotsits and Monster Munch classics. We can’t wait to hear the feedback from consumers.”

Other Walkers products released to meet the requirements not to be considered HFSS include Walkers 45% less salt, Doritos Dippers and PopWorks.

Changes were also made to the Sun Bites range last year to ensure they would meet non HFSS requirements.

In order to promote healthier choices many supermarkets have removed best before dates from fresh fruit and vegetables and limited promotions of unhealthy snacks.

Why are recipes changing?

ANALYSIS by James Flanders, The Sun’s Chief Consumer Reporter:

Food and drinks makers have been known to tweak their recipes.

They often say that this is down to the changing tastes of customers.

There are a number of reasons why this could be done.

For example, government regulation, like the “sugar tax,” forces firms to change their recipes.

Some manufacturers might choose to tweak their recipes to cut costs.

They may opt for an alternative ingredient that’s cheaper, especially when costs of ingredients are rising in order to keep prices the same.

One major element that’s been causing a lot of change in recent years is the hot-topic debates around the use of certain sweeteners.

Fizzy drinks giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have long relied on the use of aspartame to give their sugar-free alternatives that sweet flavour without the extra calories.

Discovered in 1965 by American chemist James Schlatter, aspartame is about 200 times sweeter than granulated sugar.

The low-calorie sugar substitute can be found in soft drinks, gelatin, confectionery, desserts, and sugar-free cough drops.

It is also used to enhance the flavour of baked and canned foods, powdered drink mixes, sweets and puddings.

However, aspartame’s use in food and beverages has been debated for decades and has also prompted some companies to remove the compound from their products.

The World Health Organisation’s cancer arm deemed the sweetener a “possible carcinogen” last year, but agreed it remains safe to consume at its current agreed levels.

Fanta’s removal of the sweetener from its sugar-free alternatives isn’t a first.

PepsiCo removed aspartame from some of its fizzy drinks in 2015 but soon reintroduced it after customers complained.

Last August, Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I tweaked the flavour of its flagship Lucozade Original and Orange energy drinks.

While the amount of sugar in every bottle remains unchanged, the supplier swapped out the sweetener aspartame for sucralose.

Again, fans of the iconic drink were left furious.

It’ll be interesting to see if Fanta’s new zero-sugar recipe holds its place now that the soft drink’s fans are already in uproar.

Despite the warning on aspartame, I think it’s highly unlikely that it’ll be disappearing from our drinks anytime soon.

From October 2025 retailers will be officially banned from having multibuy offers on all food and drink classed as HFSS and restaurants and other outlets will be forbidden from offering free drinks refills.

Manufacturers have looked to launch new products that lie outside of new regulations including Mr Kipling’s better-for-you range, Go Ahead’s new recipe fruit and oat bars and Nestlé’s Nature’s Heart range.

Cadbury has also launched non-HFSS products as part of its Brunch Light range and Weetabix released a new non HFSS snack bar for kids.

Meanwhile Coca-Cola has changed the recipe of Fanta Orange Zero Sugar.

The fizzy drinks giant used to sweeten its sugar-free Fanta Orange alternative with just two ingredients – acesulfame K and aspartame.

However, the brand’s “new and improved” Fanta Zero Sugar soft drink now contains several different sweeteners which are likely to explain the changing flavour.

Fans of the drink were left fuming over the change.

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