Brits love a good packet of crisps. Their golden colour and breadth of delicious flavours makes the crisp the perfect treat. And Wakers is the nation’s crisp of choice. But why?
Here we take you through the process from muddy potato, to crispy delight, highlighting why Walkers is head and shoulders above the rest, and has been for the last 70 years.
Cream of the crop
We work with more than 300 farmers across the country to source the most delicious British potatoes - from Lady Rosetta, to Hermes to Saturna. We’re committed to working with the best farmers possible, which is why some of farmers have been with us for generations.
But it’s not just about making sure they taste great – we’re also committed to ensuring our potatoes are grown sustainably. We’ve worked with over 100 British farmers in water stressed areas to not only help produce the best potatoes possible, but also to use less carbon and water when growing them. In just 5 years (2010-2015) we halved the water and carbon used to grow potatoes on these farms.
Behind the scenes of the biggest crisp factory in the world
When the potatoes are ready, we move them to our factory in Leicester – the biggest crisp factory in the world! Hundreds of tonnes of potatoes are washed here every day to make our crunchy crisps.
To ensure they get the taste and look we all know and love, they are peeled and sliced into circular disks. Here they are washed again, and their starch removed.
They are then cooked en masse – steadily moving on a conveyor belt to ensure they are fried evenly.
While seasoning was once all done by hand, our flavour drums now coat our crisps in the flavour of choice. All crisps are made in this way to ensure that every bite has the same burst of flavour - but Cheese and Onion is the nation’s favourite.
The conveyer belt then shoots the crisps out ready to be packaged and delivered to shops across the length and breadth of the UK.
Making the perfect crisp is a science, but this whole process takes a short and sweet sixty minutes.
Using our crisps to power our factory
Our Leicester site – like all our manufacturing sites across the UK - is not just efficient in terms of how quickly we make our crisps, it is also sustainably efficient.
Since 2011 we have achieved zero waste to landfill across all our manufacturing and logistics sites. We’ve also invested in renewable energy production and use 100% renewable sources for our electricity at our manufacturing sites.
In 2016 we also invested in an anaerobic digester at our Leicester site, so all the organic waste from the process – from potato skins to crisps which don’t make the grade – help provide 40% of the site’s electricity: reducing our carbon footprint by 13%.
We’re also committed to helping our local farmers and have started offering our potato waste as a crop fertiliser.
In our next Walkers 70th story, we’ll be lifting the lid on how we develop our great tasting flavours…