surreal humorous digital illustration depicting Britons observing a levitating Lays crisp packet

The potato crisp. Thin, salty, and beloved by people from both the UK and the US, the potato crisp has long held the fascination of the snacking world. The crisp has a history that has been studied and pondered by many, but one question remains. Why is it that Walkers crisps are known as Lay’s in every other nation?

As a self-proclaimed potato-crisp enthusiast, I have often laid awake at night contemplating this very question myself, and it was not until recently that I was able to obtain an answer. Thanks to some brave investigators from Reddit, we may finally solve the mystery surrounding the crisp conundrum. It seems that the year 1989 was the year this mystery began. This was the year that PepsiCo subsidiary Frito-Lay acquired Walkers, an established presence in the UK.

Walkers, as a company, has been recognized and loved by Britons since the 1940s and changing the name would be quite blasphemous to say the least. This is why PepsiCo, the company that rocked the boat, decided that it was better off to allow Walkers to remain Walkers in the UK and become Lay’s in the rest of the world. For those of you who say there are subtle taste differences, you are not wrong.

But that’s not even the best part. There are others who say Walkers was changed to Lays because the name was too difficult to pronounce in other languages. This does not fully add up, but I can understand where PepsiCo was coming from, considering they need to sell Lay’s/Walkers crisps in many nations. For me, Walkers will always be a UK-loyal symbol and a ‘knight in shining armor’ of the UK crisp industry. Long live the potato crisp, in whatever bag it may come.

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