People are only just realising why crisps are called Lays and not Walkers abroad
23rd October 2023

Us Brits love crisps – and Walkers are probably a lot of people's go-to brand.

But have you ever noticed it carries a different name abroad? When you're on holidays you've probably noticed they're marketed as "Lays", and it turns out there's a reason why.

The iconic logo of a yellow sun with a red ribbon across the packets remains, but the name of the tasty snack is different. They may taste the same, but the difference in branding has confused people a little.

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Lots of Reddit users have been talking about it lately, with many wondering why the crisps carry a different name outside of the UK. People sure had some interesting theories as to why.

In a thread called "No Stupid Questions", someone decided to ask where the name "Lays" comes from, writing: "Why is Walkers called Lays literally everywhere except the UK?"

According to the history books, there appears to be an answer. Back in 1970, the Walker family sold their company to the American food producer, Standard Brands. It was then sold again in 1989, and a division of PepsiCo, Frito-Lay, took over the popular brand.

Frito-Lays, aka Lays, adopted Walkers, and began flogging some of the goods under its own name. It's thought the UK kept the Walkers name as the brand had already become so popular.

Some claim there are slight differences between the two. Experts at One Pound Crisps say "Walkers crisps and Lays crisps are not exactly the same things".

It told LadBible: "Both brands offer a range of potato chips and savoury snacks, and 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."

There are also other theories, such as completely re-branding not working well with its target audience. One Quora user said: "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."

Meanwhile, over at Reddit, someone else explained that Walkers was already well-established in the UK.

They wrote: "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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