Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 17

WISE SNACKS
Ninety-seven-year-old Wise Snacks aims to leverage cutting-edge technology and
key partnerships to expand into new snack categories. BY BIANCA HERRON

L

ongevity is a goal for which most companies
strive, but has proven to be very elusive for the
majority of companies. The companies that
achieve longevity need long-term vision, lots of
hard work, a little luck and a mindset of continual reinvention to stay relevant to the changing times. Wise Foods Inc.
is no different, according to Chief Marketing Officer Jeremy Bjork.
Wise Foods started as Wise Potato Chip Company  in
1921. As a young grocer, founder Earl Wise Sr. began making potato chips as a way to make use of an excess inventory
of potatoes at his store. He did all the work by hand in his
mother's kitchen, then sold the chips in brown paper bags
from his store.
Four years after making his first potato chip,
Wise opened his first
production plant in Berwick, Pa. The small, concrete building continued
to expand over the next
two decades until 1944,
when the production plant
was destroyed in a fire.
After eight months, a new
state-of-the-art production
facility was built and expanded upon for the remainder of
the decade.
Ninety-seven years after its
founding, Wise excels at making snacks and selling them
through retail food outlets in
15  states, including Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania,
Georgia and Florida, as well
as Washington, D.C. 
Known for its variety of potato chips, some of its most notable products also include Cheez
Doodles,  Wise Popcorn, Cheez
Waffies, Dipsy Doodle chips, Onion Rings, as well as french onion
and nacho cheese dips.
The company's commitment to
quality, "delighting" its consumers and remaining true to its roots

have contributed to Wise Snacks' success, Bjork says. "Consumers love our potato chips because of their real potato flavor versus some of our competitors in the market," he says.
"We've stayed true to our taste and what our consumers expect from us.
"However, now we're trying to sprinkle in more innovation to attract different audiences who may not have grown
up with Wise, including millennials and generation Z," he
adds. "Additionally, we have a strong focus on catering to
the Hispanic consumer given our heritage and that of our
parent company," he continues. "Finally, we actively seek to
expand our portfolio to adapt to consumer trends."

"

We have stayed true
to our taste and what
our consumers expect
from us.

"

Captivating with the Core
Over the past three years, Wise has been very active "retooling our core brands given the size and importance of that
portfolio," according to Bjork.
"Package refreshes for Wise Chips, Wise Kettle Cooked, Wise Popcorn and Cheez Doodles were implemented to make these core brands
more attractive to younger consumers," he explains.
"They were also aimed to better communicate key attributes of the product, such as Wise Popcorn now calling out
key facts like calories per cup, air-popped and gluten free on
the front of the package."
Additionally, Wise Snacks has focused on launching
"innovation concepts" rather than just one-off new flavors.
Wise aimed to launch "umbrella ideas" that would allow it
to introduce different flavors at different times.
"This concept also allows us to invest behind building
the concept and not necessarily the individual flavors that
go into it," Bjork explains. "For example, we now have a
sub-line that we launched last fall called Ridgies Tailgate
Classics that helps us bring a little excitement to the brand
on a seasonal basis." Tailgate Classics are potato chip flavors
inspired by the tailgate experience.
Volume 58, Issue 2

RETAIL-MERCHANDISER.COM

17


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Cover1
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Cover2
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 1
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 3
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 4
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 5
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 6
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 7
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 8
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 9
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Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 11
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Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 13
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 14
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Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 17
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Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 19
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 20
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Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 25
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Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Cover3
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