A new brand of Walkers crisps have been slammed by customers – for containing as few as five complete crisps.
Hungry snack fans say the 28g Deep Ridged multipack bags contain a pitiful amount of crisps.
The BBC’s Watchdog programme launched an investigation after receiving a number of complaints and found a maximum of 13 crisps in bag and a minimum of 11.
But some consumers rang the show to report as few as seven crisps in their bags.
By comparison, a multipack of standard Walkers Salt and Vinegar crisps contained an average of 32 whole crisps – despite the bag weighing 3g less than the Deep Ridged ones.
The problem is so widespread it even has its own Twitter hashtag – #crispgate – and even Gary Linekar got dragged into the storm by tweeting fans on the subject.
He told his 1.1million followers: “Yikes! I’m told I’ve been on watchdog! I guess that’s not good. Is it too many crisps or not enough crisps? It’s generally one or the other.”
Walkers Deep Ridged crisps were launched in August with a multi-million pound advertising campaign which included the construction of the world’s largest outdoor climbing wall in East London.
The company claims the 8mm ridges are twice as deep as any other ridged crisp on the market – unlocking a “massive flavour and crunch for the ultimate snacking experience”.
But snackers have taken to Twitter to criticise the amount of crisps in the pack.
Dave Gilpin wrote: “#crispgate Walker’s deep ridged. Big bag, little crisp.”
Jack Hemsworth tweeted: “#crispgate 7 crisps in one bag.. Disgusting”
Nicole Bourcine said: “#crispgate I just opened a bag had 6 whole crisps and some bits. Bring back smiths and golden wonder!”
Ling Cheung joked: “Walkers deep ridged crisps makes you really go ‘twice as deep’ into the packet! #crispgate”
Multipacks of six individual bags are available in Cheddar and Onion, Salt and Vinegar and Ready Salted flavours, and are currently on offer for #1 in Sainsbury’s.
Walkers say the deep ridges make the crisps more susceptible to breaking, leaving fewer complete crisps and more broken shards at the bottom of the packet.
A statement from Walkers read out Wednesday night’s Watchdog says: “They have deeper ridges than other crisps on the market, making them susceptible to some breakages.
“To limit that breakage they put them into slightly larger packages with some cushioning to protect them, which may give the impression of low bag fill.”
PepsiCo, the company that owns Walkers, defended the amount of crisps in a bag of Deep Ridged.
It said in a statement: “Walkers Deep Ridged crisps have been designed with deeper ridges than other crisps on the market – this makes them susceptible to some breakage.
“To limit this breakage, we put them into slightly larger packets with some cushioning to protect them, which may give the impression of there being fewer crisps per bag.
“There are in fact 28g of crisps in each multipack bag and this is above the average for multipack crisps.”