Real reason Walkers crisps are called Lays everywhere except UK and Ireland

There's subtle differences between the two products.
-Credit: (Image: PA)

Have you ever fancied a packet of Walkers crisps whilst travelling across the pond, only to find they're called 'Lays'?

Well, Leicester's very own Walkers crisps were born from the hands of Henry Walker in 1948 and have since clutched onto our hearts as one of Britain's cherished snacks, boasting a whopping 54% of the British crisp market by 2013.

The signature beacon for snack-lovers, Walkers' emblem beams with a bright yellow sun adorned by a striking red ribbon emblazoned with 'Walkers'. Venture abroad, however, and the name changes to Lays on the packets, sparking queries on Reddit where someone asked: "Why is Walkers called Lays literally everywhere except in the UK."

History has it that in 1970, the Walkers clan handed over their snack empire to American food connoisseurs Standard Brands. The plot thickened in '89 when none other than Frito-Lay, Lay's proud parent company and a subsidiary of PepsiCo acquired the brand.

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There's a bit of a standoff in the snack world as some narratives suggest Walkers kept its moniker in its homeland due to its already sterling reputation, while others hint at slight variations between the crunch of Walkers and the rustle of Lay's, reports the Mirror US.

A statement found on One Pound Crisps quotes: "Walkers crisps and Lays crisps are not exactly the same things, although they are very similar. Both brands offer a range of potato chips and savoury snacks, an they are both owned by the same parent company, PepsiCo. However, there are some differences between the two brands."

"They offer similar products in terms of potato crisps and savoury snacks, but they may have differences in flavours, packaging, and other aspects of their products. The main difference between Walkers crisps and Lays crisps is that they are marketed under different names in different parts of the world.

"Walkers is the brand name used in the UK and Ireland, while Lays is the brand name used in most other countries around the world, including the United States, Canada, and Australia."

A curious Quora user offered their perspective: "The brand that came first was Lays. Walkers, a very successful crisp brand that Americans wanted to copy and bring over to the States due to its success in the UK and amongst their American Soldiers.

"Once Pepsi bought the English company Walkers and the American company Lays, they had a meeting on the name and which to adopt. They found that the name Walkers was too hard for non-native/fluent English speakers to say due to the W, K and R.

"Many people struggle to pronounce these letters in non-English speaking countries and that made international branding much harder. They [Pepsi] decided to keep the name Walkers in Britain where the concept of these crisps came from but all international sales would be called 'Lays' From now on, retaining the original 1930 Lays company name. The truth is the only reason Lays name still exists is marketing reasons."

Backing this up, a Reddit user added: "Frito-Lay bought Walkers, a separate company at the time, in 1989. Because Walkers had 41 years of brand-name recognition, it was kept as the name... people in the UK already knew and were familiar with that brand."

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