THINK tomatoes and a scene of sun-drenched Mediterranean countryside is likely to spring to mind.
But it’s the fruit grown in rural Worcestershire that has curried favour with a British food institution.
Walkers says it has chosen tomatoes nurtured in Evesham to flavour its re-launched prawn cocktail and tomato ketchup flavour crisps after experts picked Vale-grown fruits as the tastiest of the bunch.
The brand sent football legend and the star of Walkers’ adverts, Gary Lineker, to visit a Vale farm to try the tomatoes for himself together with his father, Barry Lineker - a market trader who ran Lineker’s fruit and veg stall in Leicester Market for over 40 years.
He said: “Everyone knows I love my Walkers crisps but to fully appreciate and understand this journey of taste and provenance, I needed a hand from someone who knew his fruit from his veg, so my dad was the perfect partner.
“We clocked up over 800 miles in our trusty campervan and of course we had to stop off to taste the vine grown tomatoes from Walkers’ growers in Evesham - my dad’s map reading wasn’t up to much though!”
Sebastian Micozzi, head of marketing for Walkers, said: “As a home grown British brand, the move to using ingredients sourced from UK suppliers is a huge step for Walkers.
“We’ve spent two years making sure the new seasonings result in truly irresistible Walkers crisps, which people know and love.
“Given that we use tomatoes in two of our tastiest flavours – tomato ketchup and prawn cocktail - it was imperative to get the best tasting vine grown tomatoes available so we had to go to Evesham.”
Walkers won't say which farms it is sourcing its produce from.