Dragons’ Den stars pump £125,000 into Tags crisps

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Tague: 'We aim to be the biggest snack food company by 2025'
Tague: 'We aim to be the biggest snack food company by 2025'

Related tags: Seabrook crisps, Tesco, Snack foods

Former Seabrook Crisps md John Tague walked away with a £125,000 investment after four of the BBC’s Dragons’ Den stars battled it out to get their hands on a slice of his £760,000 crisp business.

Four of the five dragons squabbled to get hold of a 30% stake in the Liverpudlian’s business on the programme last night (August 2).

Tague, who has secured contracts to supply 170 Asda stores, 35 Tesco stores and B&M Home Bargains with Tags Tasty Crisps, sought the Dragons’ help to get him into Sainsbury. Talks to supply Morrisons later this year were also underway, he said.

“I need a Dragon to help me open some doors,” ​Tague said. “Some of the doors I can open, but I can’t get through others.”

Tague, who runs the company with his family, originally asked for £125,000 for a 5% stake in his company.

15% of the business for £62,500

Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones, who eventually won the entrepreneur over, took 15% of the business each for £62,500 each.

Meaden said: “It’s a good crisp and we all like it … you know the industry.”

Jones said: “I have the same feeling as Deborah about the business.”

According to Tague, his business would turnover £760,000 by the end of next year, before reaching £2.2M in 2017 and £4.8M in 2018. Profits would exceed £110,000, £190,000 and £775,000 respectively, he claimed.

Tague landed a job as commercial director of Seabrook Crisps in the Midlands in 2008, where he transformed the firm’s turnover from £11M to £30M​ in just three years, he told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

Biggest snack food company

“By 2025, we aim ​[for Tags] to be the biggest ​[independently owned] snack food company in the UK,” ​he said.

Last week, upmarket crisp manufacturer Tyrrells announced its first international acquisition after buying the Australian snack firm Yarra Valley Snack Foods for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition marked the firm’s plans to grow its business in the Asia Pacific region and would manufacture Tyrrells crisps from Yarra’s factory in Victoria, ceo David Milner told FoodManufacture.co.uk’s sister title The Grocer.

“Tyrrells is becoming a more international business,” ​he said. “From almost nothing five years ago, today 25% of our sales are outside the UK and that’s provided a real growth engine for us.

“The next stage, rather than just doing export, is to become a genuinely international business with manufacturing capabilities in other markets. This is Asia Pacific done and the next stage will obviously be elsewhere.”

Meanwhile, watch this video in which Tague likens the UK’s £3bn crisp market to a battle of David and Goliath​ and explained why he believes there’s enough room for more brands like his.

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