It is as iconic a Scottish brand as ever there could be. The mere sight of Walkers’ unmistakable red tartan packaging in an airport or hotel room is guaranteed to instantly gladden the heart of any travel weary or homesick Scot marooned on the other side of the world.
But Walkers Shortbread has managed to achieve something very special since the company was founded by Joseph Walker in 1898 in the Banffshire village of Aberlour where it remains today.
Not only has Walkers become a globally renowned favourite, the delicious collections of shortbreads, cakes, puddings, oatcakes and biscuits remain just as popular with locals as its international customers.
Walkers Shortbread has come a long way since it was established over 100 years ago and its products were delivered by horse-drawn cart. Sold in over 80 countries around the world, it is one of the country’s leading exports and instantly recognisable brands; it has received numerous international awards; and was invited to produce Duchy Original Biscuits for the company established by the Prince of Wales. In 2002 it received its first Royal Warrant for the supply of oatcakes to Her Majesty the Queen. It is quite simply Scotland’s finest, loved the world over.
When Joseph Walker began making shortbread he could only dream that 112 years later his family would be continuing the tradition and on a much larger scale. Four generations of Walkers have been involved in developing The business from a small shop in Aberlour to a multi-factory operation employing over 1,500 people. The company is still run by Joe and Jim Walker, with three of Joe’s children, Nicky, Philippa and Richard holding key positions.
Despite the growth in sales the shortbread continues to be made by traditional methods and has kept that delicious buttery taste that is now synonymous with Walkers.
Jim Walker, grandson to Joseph, has been involved in the family business since 1961 and believes the secret to its success is its commitment lo quality.
The Walker family also has a passion for high-quality natural ingredients that are sourced as locally as possible. It is because of this that its shortbread has become a symbol of Scotland enjoyed by millions worldwide.
But it is not just about shortbread at Walkers, as the company has developed an array of mouth-watering products over the years all made with the same care and attention.
These include a fine selection of cakes, biscuits, oatcakes, mince pies and meringues, as well as baked goods made specifically for the Duchy Originals and Weight Watchers brands.
Every year Walkers develops a new selection of products that become an instant hit with customers.