Tesco snubbed by Tyrrells crisps

Small-scale crisp manufacturer Tyrrells hit the headlines this week after the company’s owner William Chase criticised Tesco for stocking his crisps against his wishes.

Popularity of the Herefordshire-produced crisps has grown rapidly since the company was founded in 2002. Tyrrells now has a market value of about £35m.

Despite being approached several times by Tesco, Mr Chase has declined the opportunity to supply the retailer, preferring to remain loyal to independent retailers and Waitrose.

Until recently Mr Chase was unaware that Tesco was stocking his crisps, which it sourced through an un-named wholesaler. But several of his independent stockists reported that Tesco was undercutting them.

Mr Chase said: “Although stocking my products with Tesco would significantly grow my business, I felt the quality argument overrode that of quantity.

“Tesco is keen to buy into the Tyrrells success story, but that is not part of my plan.”

A Tesco spokeswoman responded: “At Tesco we are very focused on finding new ways of working with small suppliers to bring local products to our customers.

“William Chase’s comments came as a surprise to us. We believe Tyrrells have good products, but if they do not want to sell them to Tesco we will of course respect that decision.”

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For information on Tesco’s local food initiative:

Tesco aims to Break down local food barriers