Before going to the supermarket, I’d asked The Meat Eater if he needed anything. He asked for crisps. He usually buys the same McCoys multipack each week and so I thought, hurrah, I can force him to be carefree and adventurous and I’ll get him some Monster Munch or Square Crisps or Discos or something. But then I saw the multipacks of Walkers. I usually buy any other crisps than Walkers. Walkers make rubbish crisps. They’re too thin, not crunchy enough, lack substance and aren’t very tasty. One thing they do do well though is thinking up imaginative flavours that tempt me to buy them. I’ve been through the World Cup flavours, the Red Nose Day flavours and all the other ones they’ve brought out.
Their latest marketing campaign to get us eating their substandard crisps is to have us guess the flavour. Genius. There are three mystery flavours: a dairy flavour, a meaty flavour, and a spicy flavour. All are suitable for vegetarians (incidentally, back in 2003 when this blog was a general vegetarian website and not a blog, I had a campaign running protesting against Walkers Cheese & Onion Flavour Crisps not being vegetarian. I had a page encouraging people to write to Walkers and complain, and to copy me in on the email. I posted all the emails on the website. In the same year, The Vegetarian Society awarded Walkers their ‘Imperfect World’ prize for their non-vegetarian cheese and onion flavour crisps. Walkers, shortly after receiving this prize, changed the ingredients, thereby making them suitable for vegetarians. I like to think I had a small part to play in this).
Today I tasted Mystery Flavour A (dairy). It was cheesy. Very cheesy. In 1991, I used to buy Walkers Toasted Cheese Flavour Crisps and they reminded me of this. Despite what I said above about their crisps not being tasty, these were incredibly tasty. The texture is still rubbish though, far too thin and splintery. I kept thinking shards of crisp were going to puncture my tongue.
When you’ve guessed the flavour, to be in with a chance of winning £50,000 you can post your guess online at www.walkers.co.uk and facebook.com/walkers or text A (or whatever letter you’ve tried), then a space and your flavour guess to 51199. I’m sure my guess of ‘cheese’ isn’t going to win me £50,000 but I can’t think of anything more adventurous.
Walkers may not know how to make nice crisps, but they certainly know how to sell them.
The Meat Eater has emailed me to say that he reckons his Meaty Mystery Flavour was Cumberland Pork Sausage.