Umami - Fantastic growth from Tyrrells Crisps

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Fantastic growth from Tyrrells Crisps
Author: Umami Team

This morning we read about the resale of Tyrrells Crisps on The Grocer website. It doesn’t seem like that long ago that it was sold for the first time, from the farmer who came up with the brand (and now makes Chase Vodka). We couldn’t believe the strength of the growth in the brand since that sale back in 2008.

In just 5 years the brand had increased in market value by a whopping £70million – in a recession! This is amazing growth, as a result of an amazing market position. Tyrrells Crisps have always been very clear in their market positioning and had a top-end brand to match this. Their range made clear the quality of their crisps, but they always stayed accessible. Rather than going completely off-the-wall with their flavours they stuck to the old favourites, but gave them a twist. Sea Salt & Cider Vinegar, Mature Cheddar & Chives. The olde-worlde packaging, with lots of pictures of farmers and traditional English scenes cement their local roots, and make them look even more established than they are (a fairly new company as a 2002 founding). It’s really been since 2008 that they’ve kicked things up a notch though – with 35% year-on-year growth. Outstanding.

They really have made ‘posh crisps’ an everyday and accessible commodity – without compromising quality. They are even now bringing out ever kookier ranges – like crisps made from beetroot and parsnip instead of potato. There are plenty of artisan crisps out there made by small local farmers and independants, but Tyrrells have succeeded where they have failed to grow. They have managed to do this due to one thing – Clever marketing! They have really started a trend for posh crisps – with lots of other brands popping up on the shelves like Kettle Chips and Phileas Fogg, even Walkers getting in on the action.

The reason we take a particular interest in Tyrrells story, aside from the fact that they are great crisps I really would buy myself, is that back in the day I worked with many former higher-ups in the Tyrrells Crisps company – including Les Sawyers (the former MD), Steve Oliver, Shawn Moran and Fraser Chynoweth. All of these have gone on to other great roles in premium food and drink companies, not least Fraser who is now our main contact for our work at Tate & Lyle!

It’s always great to hear a good news story from the business world, especially when most people seem to be moaning about the recession. Good on you, Tyrrells.


Article by Michelle, willing to bet that Will Chase is kicking himself today

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