We focused on getting popchips into the hands of tastemakers and influencers wherever they were, from the fashionistas at Mercedes Benz fashion week to the passengers on Virgin Airlines.
My passion for snacking and search for a great tasting, better-for-you snack sparked my interest in creating what has become popchips.
Like a lot of snackers, I recognized that snacking is an indulgence and is all about taste.
Potatoes are popped, with no oil, using the same technology used in the rice cake manufacturing business. It took a lot of trial and error and lots of practice, though, to get the right flavor.
The influencer strategy hasn't been built around celebrities. We're looking for influencers within every marketplace, who are the people who help influence decision-makers within that community.
I was convinced you were not able to tell a consumer you can have a healthy fried chip or a good-tasting baked chip.
I'm a snacker, but also health-conscious. I thought there had to be an alternative to what was out there. But it had to taste good – if it doesn't taste good, it isn't a snack.
There's a deli around the corner from my office where I'd get a bag of chips with my sandwich, and I was hiding them under my sandwich because I was embarrassed. When I had this epiphany that I was hiding the potato chips from myself, I realized there was an opportunity there.
I love fried chips, but they weren't good for you, and I didn't like the healthy options like rice chips.
When I went to visit this rice cake plant, I hadn't realized how the rice cakes were made. As soon as I saw the molds of rice and how the heat pops it like popcorn, the light bulb went off. This is popped. This isn't baked or fried.
I'm definitely a serial entrepreneur and a serial snacker. And when it comes to snacks, I'm more of a salty snacker, though I've been known to have a craving for sweets from time to time.
You have to have a ton of passion for what you're doing because being an entrepreneur is probably twice as hard as you think it's going to be. The good news is that it's probably twice as much fun when it's going well.
I knew I shouldn't be eating fried chips, but I'm just not a fan of baked chips, as much as I tried them.
We have 11 great potato flavors, and customers have been clamoring for tortilla. For over a year, we worked to develop the four flavors of tortilla popchips: chili limon, nacho cheese, ranch and salsa. They're made with traditional stoneground masa, are gluten-free, and have less than half the fat of other chips.
You can't rest on your laurels. You have to continue to innovate; you have to continue to be different.
Everyone on our team shares a couple passions – putting the fun back in snacking, an entrepreneurial spiriting, and the passion for creating an innovative and exciting brand – all of which makes popchips a really fun place to work these days.
We came out with a rice and a corn chip, then quickly decided we needed to focus on potato. It was just too much for consumers to figure out at once.