Prime Fresh Products is taking its new and improved Prime Planet Tostones on the road – most recently to the ECRM Snack Food Show in Las Vegas, where it quickly became a big winner.
U.S.-based Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing Company, or ECRM for short, brings efficiencies to the buying and selling process by optimizing product assortments and enhancing supplier-buyer collaboration.The show at Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, Feb. 19 – 21, focused on presenting new snack items and promotional opportunities to buyers from across all retail channels.
It was here that Prime Planet, the tropical better-for-you snack line of Prime Fresh Products, had an opportunity to meet with big buyers such as CVS, Walgreens, BJ’S, 7-Eleven, Kmart, Burlington’s, and many others.
It was also here that the company’s crunchy green plantain chips became, in the parlance of the Las Vegas scene, an odds-on favorite.
According to Marcia Tipiana, Operations Coordinator for Doral-based Prime Fresh Products, the three-day conference netted meetings with more than 50 retailers.
“We made sure that those in attendance walked away with all the information they needed to make sound decisions on our product line. And in the case of Prime Planet Tostones, this strategy worked.”
Behind the Scenes
In the months leading up to this show, consumer response to Prime Planet Tostones at grocery stores in South Florida had gotten so strong that it became clear the time had come to expand product reach nationwide, beyond just the Latino market.
“But to do so, we had to change our packaging in a way that it would look more mainstream American. We also tinkered with the recipe by reducing sodium and making it more nutritious,” said Tipiana.
They also invested in the process of obtaining a wide range of special certifications in order to market the chips as Kosher, cooked in better oils, gluten free, and non-GMO.
With those exciting new changes in place it was time to head West, to talk with directly with national U.S. buyers in Las Vegas – and to realize they had a big winner on their hands.
“When it came down to it, buyers tended to like our chips more than other similar snacks at the show because they are heartier and more crunchy than standard plantain chips. Everyone was impressed,” she added.
Change is Good
The strategic planning meeting with Prime Planet’s existing Publix rep during the show was especially promising. Up to this point, they were marketing and positioning Prime Planet Tostones solely in their stores’ ethnic food sections.
“But as soon as Publix recognized we changed the packaging and other key aspects of the product, they saw a clear and present need to move our Tostones into to the main snack aisle.”
This shift, she says, opens the door to a bigger base of Publix customers and distribution across their entire system, not just in Latino-centric South Florida markets.
More stores and higher visibility means increased volume. Change is good!
For sales and distribution to succeed elsewhere across the country, particularly in the Northern U.S. markets, the challenge will be to market the chips in a way to get consumers to try something they’ve never even heard of.
“But, we have found that once a new consumer digs into a bag of our Tostones, they absolutely love them,” she said. A marketing and advertising plan is now in the works to broaden the appeal of Prime Planet snacks across the board.
Another recent change with the product is the launch of new flavors. Today, the line includes the Original chip, Lime, Habanero, Yuca, Pinton, and Sweet Chili.
Prime Planet’s launch
Prime Fresh Products launched its better-for-you Tostones in 2019, to meet the growing trend among nutrition-conscious consumers who want to lead a wellness-oriented lifestyle.
“We are number one in quality and taste because our Tostones are processed naturally under the highest quality standards – and because they’re a delicious alternative to other typical snack chips”
Operations Coordinator Marcia Tipiana may be reached at 786-956-0080 or via firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information, visit www.primeplanet.net