The Little Potato Company's Christa Wagner Talks New Line, New Flavor, and Openness to Partnerships
- by Melissa De Leon Chavez
ANAHEIM, CA - With year-over-year debuts in the produce industry, I have to pause and remember the wonder behind it. Most research and development results are anywhere from two to five years in the making, a fact that has me astonished at every unveiling. So when an entire line, or multiple new additions to separate lines, are announced all at once, it is a cause for wonder.
The Little Potato Company did all of the above, introducing not only its new Easy Sides line of nearly ready-to-eat potatoes, but also a new flavor to its Microwave Ready line.
“We have a really robust marketing team, and we have a lot of great programs built around creating more usage for Creamer potatoes and making parents lives easier,” Christa Wagner, Director of Advertising and Promotions, recently shared with me. “Our Microwave Ready line has been wildly successful because you can cook it in five minutes, and this new Lemon & Garden Herb Microwave Ready kit flavor is refreshing. It’s zesty, it’s light, and lemon is such a natural complement to potatoes.”
The Easy Sides line takes this one step further, bringing convenience and flavor exploration to the next level.
“What is driving our Easy Sides is, of course, the constant need for convenience. Today’s consumer is super busy, dinner continues to be a challenge every single day, so we looked at how we can help them get dinner on the table,” Christa said.
Easy Sides certainly meets that need in that they are pre-seasoned and are available in the following four flavors:
- Onion and Garlic
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper
- Paprika and Bell Pepper
- Sweet Bell and Onion
They are also pre-cut and pre-cooked, as well, responding to research found about consumers and their spuds.
“We found that people just don’t know what to do with potatoes. They also find potatoes, in general, can be complicated and take too much time,” Christa explained. “So, we decided with Easy Sides to take all of that complication out. You just open up the package, put it in a hot pan on your stove top, and you have sizzle-crispy potatoes in seven minutes.”
It all circles back to getting the word out that potatoes are more versatile and fun than consumers might think, and The Little Potato Company is having a great time showing them just that.
“We get to make potatoes fun and playful, and we enjoy doing it! Everyone loves them, but there are a lot of myths that go with potatoes that we have to bust, but it has helped us to really grow,” Christa said.
One of the many avenues in which that growth is taking place is through partnerships, and The Little Potato Company is excited to be as versatile as the category it represents.
“We are a growing brand and, as a potato brand, we recognize that most people eat potatoes with something else. So, we would love to partner with another company that would accompany a Little potato, be on top of a potato, or have a potato in it!” she laughed. “Anything in which our two brands or ingredients complement each other, we would love to talk about and explore.”
Most recently, the company worked on a cross-promotion with Litehouse refrigerated dressings, an experience that resulted in fantastic consumer redemption and positive returns for all involved. As for retailers in need of some inspiration, the team has your back there as well.
“We have holiday promotions, a football and a summer sizzle program, and we are still growing. If you don’t know about this, please reach out to us—we are excited to partner with more retailers in helping to create more of a scene around Little potatoes, especially as Thanksgiving and the holidays approach,” Christa said.
Easy Sides are now available across the U.S. and in Canada, with more and more regions popping up in distribution every day. As we continue to report on the latest and greatest in our industry, keep following AndNowUKnow.