I can't work out if this is good or bad timing...
Releasing these products as nearly all high street restaurant chains close their doors would have been a stroke of malevolent genius were it not for the fact that each pack contains a restaurant discount voucher. Walkers has acknowledged the issue on its website, stating that the voucher redemption period will be extended to 3 December 2020 and that it won’t be advertising the eat-in aspect of the promotion until things get back to normal. Rather than put the project on hold Walkers owner PepsiCo has opted to get the products onto the shelves in order to help feed the nation. Makes sense to us.
What are the flavours?
Peri-Peri Chicken (Nando’s), Chilli Con Carne (Las Iguanas), Classic Cheeseburger (Gourmet Burger Kitchen), Katsu Curry (YO!), American Hot Pizza (PizzaExpress) and Margherita Pizza (PizzaExpress). The products will be available in most supermarkets but appear to have made their debut at discounter Home Bargains.
What’s the verdict?
A quick trawl through Twitter reveals that - perhaps predictably given the nation’s love for the brand - Nando’s offering is the clear winner. Lockdown has sadly hampered our efforts to get our hands on them (we were particularly curious to try the American Hot Pizza and Katsu Curry varieties). It seems that many are having similar issues tracking down these limited edition products, and opportunists are looking to, err, make a packet by selling the crisps online at inflated prices.
Have they no shame?
Apparently not. There have been reports on Twitter of packs going for £9 on eBay. We can’t verify that, although there is someone currently selling 24 packs for £18.95, which is well above the RRP.
Have restaurant brands partnered with retail manufacturers in this way before?
It's no coincidence that all of these brands already have a significant presence in supermarkets. While its commonplace for restaurants to get their own made-under-license products onto the shelves, this partnership feels like new territory and could open up new options for manufacturers and restaurant brands alike. Let's hope the unfortunate timing doesn't reduce the likelihood of a follow up to Taste Icons.