Nik Naks (British snack)

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Nik Naks multipack.jpeg
Product typeCorn snack
OwnerKP Snacks
CountryUnited Kingdom
MarketsUnited Kingdom
Previous ownersSooner Snacks, Golden Wonder, United Biscuits
Tagline'Eat The Freak'

Nik Naks are a type of extruded corn snack previously manufactured by Sooner Snacks, from 1941, in the United Kingdom. The brand was purchased by Golden Wonder in 1987 and then sold to United Biscuits in 2006. In December 2012, United Biscuits agreed to sell the KP Snacks brand, including Nik Naks, to the European Intersnack Group.[1]


The original flavour when Nik Naks first appeared was Cheese (Yellow bag) and was formerly called Crunchy Wotsits.

They are now available in four flavours:

  • Scampi 'n' Lemon (Green bag)
  • Nice 'n' Spicy (Orange bag)
  • Rib 'n' Saucy (Purple bag)
  • Pickle 'n' Onion (Red bag)

In the mid 1990s, the flavours were Nice 'n' Spicy, Cream 'n' Cheesy, Scampi 'n' Lemon and Rib 'n' Saucy; the packaging of the Scampi 'n' Lemon contained an ironic "Stifle The Stink" statement encouraging consumers to bin the packaging responsibly, however Rib 'n' Saucy ultimately replaced Scampi 'n' Lemon in order to remove any stigma about the flavour; sales of Nik Naks grew by 32% once the "smelly" flavour was removed. At some point a Hard Cheese flavour was introduced and later discontinued.

On Valentine's Day 1994, Golden Wonder released limited edition Naughty 'n' Saucy flavour Nik Naks (and for a limited time a Tomato and Mayonnaise flavour) containing an "aphrodisiac" ingredient (0.01% Guarana Seed extract.)[citation needed]. This experiment was repeated in 2005, when they launched a new limited edition Naughty 'n' Saucy flavour including what was "claimed to be the first savoury snack to contain the Chinese herb Ginseng, said to help boost the libido"[2]

Scampi 'n' Lemon made a comeback in 2002, just before being sold to KP and United Biscuits; the Scampi 'n' Lemon then replaced the Cream 'n' Cheesy flavour in multipacks from 2006. From 2008, the Scampi 'n' Lemon flavour was phased out to make room for the new Pickle 'n' Onion flavour. However, Scampi 'n' Lemon remains in multipacks.

At one time Scampi 'n' Lemon flavour Nik Naks contained a fish derived ingredient[citation needed]. Since 2018 the product is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans due to the removal of lactose.


The brand ran a notable advertising campaign in the 90s created by animator Bill Plympton, based on his short film Push Comes to Shove, in which two men's heads transform into a variety of shapes; this was subsequently followed up by 5 second adverts describing how ugly the snack was. In 1993, the brand ran an instant win promotion giving away rubbish; such things as tummy fluff, 2p piece, bits of string were given away.

During 2004-5, its advertising led with the tag line 'Eat The Freak', coined due to their odd appearance. One commercial, set on a cross-Channel ferry, was a modern parody of the sci-fi classic Alien, wherein a passenger eats a Nik Nak only to have it explode from his stomach and begin dancing to Le Freak by Chic.

Branding dispute[edit]

In 2014 the UK brand of Nik Naks was involved in a copyright and branding dispute with the later, 1972-established South African brand of the same name, NikNaks, manufactured by Simba Chips. KP Snacks informed importers of the South African brand into the United Kingdom to stop all imports due to the same name the two different products share.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "KP Snacks to become part of European Intersnack Group" (Press release). United Biscuits. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Nik Naks to lift the libido" (Press release). the Grocer. 15 Jan 2005. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  3. ^ Sanderson, Sertan. "Trademark dispute could halt import of Simba Niknaks into UK". Retrieved 2016-07-28.

External links[edit]