Walkers hasn’t had the best couple of weeks. On October 28, it was widely reported that the Leicester-based snack brand was running out of crisps – and on November 11 its factory caught fire (thankfully, nobody was hurt). But has the recent potato paucity had any knock-on effects on Walkers’ brand?
Data from YouGov BrandIndex UK shows that, between 28 October and 11 November, Current Customer scores fell from 27.1 to 21.2 (-5.9). So, in the short term at least, consumers are finding it harder (or choosing not) to buy Walkers crisps. But our data also shows that perceptions of the brand across a number of metrics either didn’t move – or rebounded.
For example, Impression scores (a measure of overall perceptions of a brand) deteriorated from 46.0 to 36.2 (-10.2) between October 28 and November 4. But by November 11, Walkers rebounded to 43.0 – suggesting the discontent didn’t last particularly long.
Between October 28 and November 11, the brand even saw a slight increase in Reputation scores (which track the proportion of consumers who would be proud or embarrassed to work for a company) from 19.4 to 21.8 (+2.4), while Purchase Intent (which asks consumers which brands they’d be most likely to purchase from) remained static: going from 13.5 to 13.1 over the same period (-0.4). It’s the same story with Consideration scores, which saw a movement of 0.1 points (“rising” from 41.6 to 41.7).
So while consumers have noticed the shortages, they’re not blaming Walkers for them. The issue has been attributed to an IT issue rather than Covid-19, but it may be that shoppers understand that it is a tough time for supply chains and aren’t placing the responsibility for the salt & vinegar scarcity at the brand’s feet. If the shortage drags on further, that could well change – but for now, the chips aren’t down for Walkers.