Ever since I can remember, green packets of crisps meant Cheese and Onion; blue packets was Salt and Vinegar; red was Ready Salted. Maybe it was because it was always that way that made it seem logical – I imagined the onions as green spring onions; and blue is the colour of the sea where salt comes from. Ready Salted is in the name – ready = red. Whatever the reason, the colour seemed to reflect the taste somehow. But since the 1980s, Walker's crisps have insisted on the reverse: their Cheese and Onion crisps come in blue packs; their green packs contain Salt and Vinegar crisps. I've never got used to this and never will. It just seems perverse, akin to a council suddenly deciding to change the meaning of traffic light signals – the red light meaning go and the green light signifying stop.
Such is the influence of Walker's that other brands now emulate their backwards crisp packet colouring – I've recently discovered Sainsbury's crisps follow the same pattern. It irks me; there should be standardisation of such things. Customers in supermarkets complain that they've bought the wrong pack of crisps – yes, they could read the pack but the shelves are so full of different brands and varieties, it would be reassuring to buy according to colour and not have the complication of having to actually read the pack.
The three basic crisp types – despite the introduction of such mouth watering flavours as Sweet Chill, Paprika, Marmite, Salsa, Steak & Ale, Honey & Mustard – have stood the test of time and remain the best selling crisp varieties.
Previously on Barnflakes
The agony of choice