Ready salted crisps are no longer the nation’s favourite flavour, as cheese & onion has now taken the top spot.

The market for cheese & onion crisps is worth £256m, according to Mintel research, with sales having increased an impressive 15% in the last two years.

Valued at £244m in 2006, ready salted crisps have slipped into second place, despite an increase in sales of 5% over the same two-year period.Meanwhile, sales of the classic salt & vinegar and prawn cocktail flavours both fell by 7% between 2006 and 2008, while sales of the beef variety grew over 10% during the same period.

Yet traditional flavours are not falling from favour, said Mintel. “Despite the ongoing development of new and exciting flavours, the traditional favourites still win hands-down,” said senior market analyst Emmanuelle Bouvier. “In fact, cheese & onion, ready salted and salt & vinegar still account for almost two-thirds of sales of standard crisps.”