Walkers have threatened the existence of Prawn Cocktail crisps. We cannot allow this 4 years ago

Walkers have threatened the existence of Prawn Cocktail crisps. We cannot allow this

Some things - not many things, but some things - are sacred to Brits.

A decent cup of tea. Complaining about the weather. The chimes of Big Ben, apparently. These are more than mere luxuries; they are indelible rights. They're part of the fabric of life. It is our duty, then, to inform you that we are under attack!!!!


Walkers, the British icon responsible for happy packed lunches and keeping Gary Lineker out of the doldrums (how can anyone be expected to survive on £1.7 million a year? In this economy?) have launched a new promotion: Choose or Loose.

The concept is terrifyingly simple: "Three classic flavours against three flavours from around the world. Which stay and which go? You decide."

The crisps competing for your love are Smokey Bacon vs Bacon & Cheddar, Salt & Vinegar vs Lime & Black Pepper, and Prawn Cocktail vs Paprika. That clang? That was the sound of your jaw dropping through your stomach.

The gall of Walkers. These are not Love Island contestants or Members of Parliament that we can vote in and out willy and indeed nilly. These are cultural institutions, part of our everyday for generations, and Walkers are happy to gamble them for a bit of PR, the cads. The villains. The scoundrels.

Why single out Prawn Cocktail? Because it's the most precariously positioned. If we lose Smokey Bacon and gain Bacon & Cheddar, would we really notice? It'll still taste like synthetic offal, just with an added hint of feet. And no one in their right mind is going to cast their ballot for Lime & Black Pepper; we'd sooner see Lord Buckethead flavour crisps in the newsagents.


But in Paprika, Prawn Cocktail could find a challenger. Paprika is by far the strongest of the contenders; anyone with a working knowledge of the Sainsbury's meal deal will know that Walkers Max Paprika is a go-to lunchtime snack. It's a beautiful crisp, but in beauty lies seduction, and in seduction lies vulnerability.

Prawn Cocktail crisps, though a uniquely British item, are not universally loved. Salt & Vinegar, Cheese & Onion and Ready Salted will forever occupy the Holy Trinity of Crispdom, but Prawn Cocktail is a misfit crisp.

That's part of the reason we love them. It's the same reason why Nickleback fans love Nickleback, why Millwall fans love Millwall: Prawn Cocktail is ours, and we don't care if you hate it.

That, and it's fucking delicious.


All my Prawn Cocktail people, we can't let Walkers risk our beloved crisp. Paprika crisps are good, but they're good in the same way that Foo Fighters are good: on a level that basically anyone can appreciate and understand. Prawn Cocktail crisps are more like Prince: well-loved and unquestionably mainstream, but just a little too 'out there' to be universally palatable.

If Paprika wins and Prawn Cocktail disappears from the supermarket shelves, it will be a travesty. A day of national mourning will be called. As Joni Mitchell said in her hit song Big Yellow Taxi, "Don't get rid of Prawn Cocktail crisps, you mugs."