Sainsbury ceo canvassed to stock Tags crisps

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Tague predicts the business will turnover £4.8M by 2018
Tague predicts the business will turnover £4.8M by 2018

Related tags Tesco

Former Seabrook Crisps boss John Tague has sent a letter directly to Sainsbury ceo Mike Coupe to persuade him to stock his Tags brand of crisps, following a £125,000 investment from the BBC’s Dragons’ Den stars.

Four of the five dragons battled it out for a 30% stake in Tague’s​ £760,000 crisp business, after they were told it would turn over £4.8M by 2018.

Tague chose to partner with Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones, offering them a 15% stake in the business each for £62,500 each, as they could “open the door” ​to Sainsbury, he told

“I’m still waiting for Sainsbury to come back to me and I have personally emailed Mike Coupe as well,” ​Tague said.

Contracts to supply 170 Asda stores, 35 Tesco stores and the northern discounter B&M Home Bargains had already been landed, he added. Talks were also underway to supply Morrisons later this year.

Sustain a factory of his own

Tags’s growth plan


  • 2016: £760,000
  • 2017: £2.2M
  • 2018: £4.8M


  • 2016: £110,000
  • 2017: £190,000
  • 2018: £775,000

The business, which was founded in 2012, contracts out the manufacture of crisps to a third party firm, because Tague wasn’t selling enough to sustain a factory of his own, he said.

“We’re not big enough to open a production facility of our own, I know the number we need to get to that and we’re not there​.

“But, it’s more efficient now and I will get better quality products by contracting production out because of the cost of oil and potatoes and labour would be too high for a small business like this,” ​he added.

Although Tague wasn’t planning on building a production facility anytime soon, he hadn’t written the idea off completely.

He said: “I would love to build a factory in the future in Liverpool, which would always be the dream.”

Until that day, the crisp boss would focus on getting the Tags brand into as many outlets as possible, he added.

Biggest in the UK

Tague aimed to see the brand become the biggest independently owned snack food company in the UK, which would be driven by new product development, he said.

“I’ve got some big ideas. I don’t want to say too much, but I have got a product that could be out next year and it’s in the ‘better for you’ side of things,” ​Tague explained.

One threat to the business recognised by Tague was the dominance just a few brands had over the £3bn crisps market.

However, the fact that Tags was a family business would appeal to consumers, he claimed.

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