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Food Story Brands Celebrates ‘Salsabration,’ Hummuses, Dips

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From left to right: Maggie Fearnow, Nicole Parker, Jay Whitney, Laura Picardi and Caitlyn McAniff of Fresh Cravings Food Story Brands.

Food Story Brands has found success amid the COVID-19 pandemic with its “salsabration” social media campaign and international ingredients. A family-owned company based out of Phoenix, Arizona, Food Story develops brands and products in the food and beverage industries. 

Among other innovation and speed-to-market product solutions, the company offers strategic brand consulting, product development, logistics and consumer analytics. Within its scope include brands such as Fresh Cravings, First We Feast Presents Hot Ones! and Cocktail Artist. 

“We develop brands and products all in the food and beverage space. What we try to do is tell meaningful stories through food,” said Jay Whitney, co-founder and CMO. 

Fresh Cravings launched in 2015 into 900 stores. Today, its salsa and hummus products can be found in 20,000 stores across the country, including Albertsons, Kroger, Publix and Walmart.

Its line of hummuses include flavors such as spicy roasted red pepper, honey jalapeno, everything bagel, classic and roasted garlic. 

According to Whitney, Fresh Cravings differentiates itself from other hummus brands through a combination of smoother texture and a bit of “magic dust.”

“The leader in hummus today is grittier hummus. It’s more coarse. It’s a little bit thicker,” he explained. “Through consumer feedback [we learned] they wanted more of a smoother, creamier mouthfeel. So we actually traveled the world. We ended up in Chile and found Chile extra virgin olive oil and it was the magic dust that made our hummus taste extremely flavorful but at the same time be smooth and creamy. Texture is a big deal.”

Beyond salsa and hummus, Fresh Cravings offers plant-based and dairy dips. The brand tests all products in double blind taste tests at universities across the country. Whitney said the company has never lost a taste test. “What that means is the products are performing.”

During the pandemic, the company spent about $250,000 from its marketing budget to repurpose for nonprofits across the United States. It also highlighted local community heroes in a campaign known as “Salsabrate The Good,” which marked its one-year anniversary March 4.

“They’re not national brands and national charities. They were local nonprofits trying to help their communities,” Whitney said. “We went to 50 of them and we sent a videographer in to film their story. 

“Then every week for over a year, we published those stories across all our social media pages…it became award winning and we’re doing it again this year. We’re going to keep celebrating the anniversary of giving because it just connects.”

For more information, visit foodstorybrands.com.

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