tags crisps

Crisp brand Tags says it has seen sales in Asda more than triple this week and received a number of international enquiries since the airing of a successful pitch for funding on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den.

Owner John Tague, MD of Seabrook Crisps from 2008 to 2011, secured a £125,000 investment from Dragons Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones for 30% equity in the hope of “unlocking the door” at Sainsbury’s.

Tags Tasty Crisps, founded in April 2012, has space on shelves in 197 Asdas across the UK and 35 Tesco shops in the North West. It has more than tripled the 10,000 bags per week it sells in Asda since appearing on Dragons’ Den.

Since filming back in March, the snack company has also been approached by WH Smith for a national high street listing, has launched in 400 B&M stores and is “progressing” talks with Morrisons.

John Tague said the process with Sainsbury’s had “speeded up” following Sunday’s (2 August) broadcast. “With the show going well there is more interest in the brand,” he added. “[CEO] Mike Coupe has been very responsive and has forwarded my email to the relevant buyers.”

Tags has also this week launched its latest flavour following demand from the pubs, bars and restaurants it supplies in the North West. Sea salt takes the brand’s range to four-strong and joins cider vinegar & sea salt, sweet chilli, and mature cheddar & red onion.

Tague added he isn’t planning too many more variants but confirmed he was in talks with manufacturing partner Kolak Snack Food about branching out into another product area in 2016.

“We’re still a long way off establishing the brand to a critical mass but once we do then there are other sub-categories, such as health, better-for-you, family, every day, we can explore,” he said. “It is important for now to develop the current hand-cooked range and establish Tags as a good solid brand in the snack industry and the add-ons will then be that little bit easier.”

International interest in the brand has also been piqued following the showing of Dragons’ Den, with enquiries coming in from China, the US and Europe. “[Exporting] has become an option straight away but we don’t want to run before we can walk. However, if an opportunity raises its head, like it has done in past few days, then we will explore it.”

Tags is set to generate profits of £110,000 on the back of sales of £760,000 in the 2016 financial year, with projections to grow to £2.2m the following year and £4.8m in 2018. Tague told the Dragons that by 2025 he had ambitions for Tags to be the biggest family snack food business in the UK.