Tyrrells crisps will be appearing on Tesco shelves from today (19 September) - five years after a row in which former owner Will Chase threatened to sue the retailer for selling its products via the grey market.
The full Tyrrells range will be going into 450 Tesco stores next week, with a further 900 stocking just the Christmas lines.
The brand has also won listings with Marks & Spencer to provide four own-label SKUs from December, including Pink Himalayan Rock Salt and Lobster & Chilli flavours.
The listings are the latest success for a brand that turned over £18m in 2009/10 and expects to hit £42m in sales in 2011/2012. Current retail sales are about £80m.
"Everyone knew Tesco was the biggest opportunity, but when I came into the business 18 months ago the team was knocking its head against a brick wall," said CEO David Milner. "I told them to concentrate on the countless other growth opportunities we are now in Morrisons and our listings in Sainsbury's have quadrupled, while I took on Tesco as a personal project."
Despite an initially frosty reception, Milner said he found dealing with the retailer a pleasure. "They're fantastic operators and have been 100% professional," he added.
In addition to its domestic success, the brand is also enjoying growing popularity overseas and won the exporter of the year gong at The Grocer Gold Awards in June.
Its latest success is Russia. Milner, who was part of a high-level British trade delegation accompanying PM David Cameron to Russia this week, said he expected to sell £1m of Tyrrells crisps in Russia this year at a whopping £5 a bag with listings in 180 Spar stores around Moscow and St Petersburg.
He also predicted Tyrrells' sales would hit £2.5m this year in the US, making it the brand's second-biggest overseas market after France.
The Tyrrells business was acquired by private equity firm Langholm Capital for £40m in 2008, and founder Will Chase sold his remaining interest in the business at the end of last year. Chase, who now runs the Chase Distillery business, threatened Tesco with legal action in 2006 when the retailer sourced Tyrrells crisps from a third party after he refused to supply them. The spat made national newspaper headlines and the retailer eventually backed down and pulled the crisps from its shelves.
This week Chase said the Tesco listing was good news for the brand. "It was always the strategy to grow the business and keep on growing, but five years ago Tesco wanted to sell them at the same price as competitor brands," he added. "I still see Tyrrells as my baby in many ways I am pleased to see it grow."
The Grocer Gold Awards 2011: Exporter of the year (18 June 2011)
Tyrrells plans further growth abroad with new marketing boss (11 June 2011)