PepsiCo's UK crisps subsidiary Walkers is to spend up to £3m (US$5.4m) on free pedometers for consumers in the UK.

The company plans to give away five million free pedometers in a bid to improve its image amid the current healthy eating climate. In order to avoid the same criticism aimed at Cadbury's Get Active campaign, PepsiCo does not require consumers to purchase its products in return for the free pedometer. UK confectioner Cadbury was criticised for its scheme in which children could collect chocolate bar wrappers and exchange them for sports equipment for their school.

The Walkers promotion is backed by information on the brand's website, giving tips on how people can increase the amount of exercise they get during their normal day. The website even tells people how much walking is required to burn off the calories contained in a standard bag of Walkers crisps.

PepsiCo UK also plans to reformulate some of its products to make them healthier. The company hopes to halve the amount of saturated fat contained in Walkers crisps by the end of 2006 by switching to a different type of frying oil, reported The Financial Times.