LONG VALLEY, N.J. — Among 1,400 exhibitors showcasing their product lines at the 2016 Winter Fancy Food Show, one of the most popular booths featured just one product. But for Perfect Snax Prime and its Cookie Pop Popcorn, that was all it needed.
|Frank Florio, c.e.o. of Perfect Snax Prime|
“The show in San Francisco was over the top,” said Frank Florio, chief executive officer of Perfect Snax Prime. “We were mobbed for three days. It was unbelievable.”
Perfect Snax Prime currently offers just one product; the company’s Cookie Pop Popcorn is a cookies and cream flavored popcorn made with crumbs from Mondelez’s Nabisco Oreo cookies. Mr. Florio said the idea for the sweet snack originated from his studies of recent success stories in the popcorn industry.
“I was looking at all the different concepts and brands that were out there that were succeeding,” Mr. Florio said. “You always look at what the successful companies are doing. You have to make yourself aware of them and the two biggest and best in my mind are Skinnypop and Angie’s; I think they’re both well-run companies doing a great job. So I looked at them and all their flavors and I saw that I could find a different niche and not really compete head to head with them but at the same time be in the same space with them and the same marketplace and the growing business. Everyone has a bit of a different take on flavoring, but no one had put out the combination I’ve now put together. And no one had co-branded with someone like we are with Nabisco.”
After finding a flavor new to the popcorn section, Mr. Florio said he wanted to make sure his snack’s nutrition facts could stand up to the big names.
“We’ve been trying to develop the product to keep it as nutritional and as good as possible,” Mr. Florio said. “In fact, our nutritionals are equivalent to anybody in the market, including Skinnypop and Popcorn, Indiana as far as calories. Even our salt is by far the lowest at 45 mg compared to some brands in the hundreds or two hundreds.”
Cookie Pop’s competitive nutrition label and innovative flavor helped Perfect Snax Prime confidently pitch the product to Wal-Mart, Mr. Florio said, and the retailer “immediately fell in love with the product.” Wal-Mart launched Cookie Pop Popcorn six months ago, and its popularity has not slowed since.
“The response has been phenomenal,” Mr. Florio said. “You name the chain, you name the grocery, they are all wanting the product. Even overseas we have Europe, Mexico, and we’ve already shipped product to Australia. We’re closing deals now with ShopRite, we’re doing the Kroger shows. You name the major chain, we have appointments with everybody.”
Mr. Florio said he hopes to keep Perfect Snax Prime’s momentum as the company introduces new flavors and concepts.
“We’re coming out with a chocolate chip flavor and working on licensing with Chips Ahoy!, and we’re working a deal with a candy company that’s a hugely nationally recognized brand,” he said. “There’s a couple other concepts we’re working on right now, completely new development products. But the business plan for the next two years is 100% development of the popcorn line; we’re coming out with Cookie Pop and Candy Pop done with a candy brand company and two other popcorn concepts related to other products around cookies and candy. We’re working with major Fortune 100 companies on those.”
As the company forges ahead in the snack space, Mr. Florio said he looks forward to offering consumers new products that taste good and are good for you.“On the back of our bag it says, ‘It tastes good to snack again.’ That’s one thing I feel strongly about,” Mr. Florio said. “I think the consumer wants nutritional products that have things that are good — or at least not that bad — for them, but they still want something that tastes good. That’s a huge factor, and I think — outside of a couple brands out there — that there are just average tasting products. That’s where I see a big opportunity for us.”