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Last Updated: Monday, 18 September 2006, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Tesco backs down in crisp battle
Will Chase, founder of the Tyrrells Potato Chip company
Will Chase says he wants to maintain his brand's integrity
Supermarket giant Tesco has withdrawn a crisp range after the manufacturer complained that it did not want its products to be stocked there.

Tyrrells, the Herefordshire-based maker of upmarket crisps, had threatened to sue Tesco for stocking the snacks against its wishes.

The retailer, which had sourced the crisps from a wholesaler, has now agreed to stop selling them.

Tyrrells crisps are sold by 6,000 independent retailers and Waitrose.

Local producers

"They had just listed them without our knowledge," Will Chase, founder of Tyrrells Potato Chips, told BBC News.

"We had a few meetings with them to say that we had never done anything to list our products and we said politely that we would rather stay out and support our direct customers.

POTATO CHIPS
Invented in 1853 in Saratoga Springs, USA
UK production - 150,000 tonnes
UK crisp market - 1bn
Source: European Snacks Association

"It was a bit of a shock for us one day for somebody to tell us that we were actually in Tesco."

Mr Chase said he was prepared to deal with Waitrose, the major supermarket chain operated by the John Lewis Partnership, because of its fair dealings with local producers.

Tesco does not need Tyrrell's permission to stock its crisps, but said it had agreed to withdraw the range after discussions with the firm.

"If Tyrrell's do not want to sell to Tesco we will of course respect that decision," a Tesco spokeswoman said.




SEE ALSO
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