The votes are in for Refrigerated & Frozen Foods2019 Best New Retail Products contest. Congratulations to FoodStory Brands, Phoenix, Ariz., for placing third for its Fresh Cravings brand grab-and-go salsa and tortilla chips snack packs.

Marina Mayer, editor-in-chief of Refrigerated & Frozen Foods and the creator of the Best New Retail Products contest, talked exclusively with Jay Whitney, president, to discuss the “winning” product and why grab-and-go convenience is the wave of the future.


Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: First off, congratulations on placing THIRD in Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ 2019 Best New Retail Products contest, with 8,628 votes. What does this recognition mean to you, your company, your products and your consumers?

Jay Whitney: We were excited to be nominated and thrilled when we saw the final results. It’s a proud moment, especially for our Fresh Cravings brand. Over the past few months, Fresh Cravings has continued to surpass our expectations with multiple new authorizations due to its ability to drive category-leading consumer repeat rates. For example, Fresh Cravings leads in shopper loyalty at the nation’s largest retailer with a 2-plus repeat purchase rate of 41%. This is a higher repeat rate than any of our competitors. So, to receive over 8,600 votes from your readers in this competition means the world to us, especially since Fresh Cravings is a newer brand.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: Your new retail product—the grab-and-go salsa and tortilla chips snack packs—were nominated by Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ editor-in-chief, Marina Mayer. What unique and innovative features does this new product hold that would allow it to even be nominated?

Whitney: We are truly honored that your editor-in-chief, Marina Mayer, chose Fresh Cravings Salsa and Tortilla Chips snack pack as a contestant in Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ 2019 Best New Retail Products competition. We are fans of this publication, and are grateful for their ongoing support of our products.

We first launched these snack packs in 2018, in time for back to school, but what we are finding is that they have become a year-round item for our consumers. These bring excitement to kids’ school lunches, curb hungry after-school or after-work appetites and also offer a healthier snack option for busy parents and professionals who are always on the go.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: What separates this product from the other refrigerated snacks on the market? What does this say about the future of the industry, consumers and their demands?

Whitney: FoodStory Brands is an innovator with an accelerator, meaning we push ourselves to bring new items to market faster than other traditional CPG companies. We seek to find the white space and reinvigorate categories. We are doing this, overall, with the salsa category by offering consumers a refrigerated salsa, Fresh Cravings, that is as close to homemade as possible, one that is made with vine-ripened tomatoes and crisp vegetables. Specifically with Fresh Cravings Salsa and Tortilla Chips snack packs, we believe that consumers are looking for healthier alternatives [that] fit into their active, on-the-go lifestyles.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: Why create this new product?

Whitney: We hear from our customers that they want healthier, more affordable snacking solutions for their families, and placing third in this contest validates that we are listening and delivering what they want.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: Any unique features to the product’s packaging?

Whitney: We thought carefully about minimizing the packaging yet making sure that the chips would stay crisp and the salsa fresh-tasting.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: What is on the horizon for your company come 2019 into 2020?

Whitney: We continue to keep our fingers on the pulse in the food market, and are working on some very exciting new products.