Did you ever wonder how our snack mixes get named or if there was a crazy story behind the mix creation? Well we have the answers! This interview with the Snack Mix Queen herself, owner Carolyn Bennett, and our Director of Marketing, Chad Hartman, will tell you just how our mixes are not only thought up, but created and named as well!
Chad: ” How did Sweet Caroline come about?”
Carolyn: “Sweet Caroline ®…..Well, It’s actually named after the song, not after me like everyone thinks it is. We chose this name not only because we are in North Carolina and have sweet elements, but because when you are eating this mix you read the name and most of us sing the chorus or hum to the song Sweet Caroline. And with that, your mind creates a memory or association with the mix, and that song, which will resonate with a person and invoke an emotional response to that memory or a feeling whenever they are reminds about the song or the mix.”
Chad: “Is there a story behind the name Berry Good™?”
Carolyn: “I came up with Berry Good™. I originally wanted to call it ‘Very Berry’, but I didn’t think that was a very good name because then all that you would think about while eating the mix were the berries and not the mix as a whole. So instead I used the word ‘berry’ in the place of ‘very’ so it was a play on words and that way you wouldn’t focus just on the berries in the mix, but also the other elements. Berry Good™ was the mix that we entered into the NC Taste Awards as an appetizer, and won an award for it.”
Chad: “What about Yogurt Ambrosia™, I know that it used to be called California Ambrosia?”
Carolyn: “It was a spin-off of California Mix™, but we changed the name because no one really understood what the name meant. No one really knew that the ‘Ambrosia’ part of the name was referencing the yogurt elements, and had nothing to do with California. So we just changed the name to Yogurt Ambrosia™ to make it less confusing. It really has nothing to do with California Mix, so Yogurt Ambrosia™ is more of an appropriate name.”
In our monthly feature, Meet the Tropical Team, we’ll introduce you to some of the people who make Tropical such a wonderful company. This month meet John Tuosto, Tropical’s Territory Manager, Southeast Florida. John works out of our Orlando office.
Boca Raton, FL
HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED AT TROPICAL?
A TYPICAL DAY AT TROPICAL CONSISTS OF:
Meeting and working closely with the key decision makers within the Hospitality/Travel & Leisure Industry (Ex: Food & Beverage Department, Executive Chef, Buyers, General Managers and Purchasing Department).
Providing quality products and services to the Hotel & Resort/Spa Industry, Private Golf Country Clubs, Hospitals, Colleges & Universities, Dining Services, Sports & Entertainment venues, restaurants, and all the major food distributors.
FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT WORKING AT TROPICAL?
I enjoy the family atmosphere. Also that everyone is dedicated to providing our customers with the freshest and highest quality of product, as well as delivering excellent customer service and support.
FAVORITE TROPICAL PRODUCTS:
Diet Delight®, Deluxe Mixed Nuts, Happy Hour Mix™, Country Club™, PB&J Mix®, Banana Split®, and Sunburst™.
IF YOU COULD CREATE YOUR OWN CUSTOM TROPICAL SNACK MIX, THE INGREDIENTS WOULD BE:
The two main ingredients would have to be dark chocolate and walnuts halves.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF WORK?
Health and fitness activities (gym, cycling, golf, and tennis).
Interested in joining the Tropical team? Contact us at our Careers page.
It’s time for a few more stories from Carolyn Bennett about just how a few of our snack mixes were created and named.
Chad: “Is there a story behind the Continental Blend™?”
Carolyn: “I don’t remember that one, I don’t think I created it. Well, I do know that at one time some mixes, for example California Mix were named to specifically describe where a lot of the mix elements were from, California. What all is in that mix exactly?”
Chad: “Sesame Sticks, Rice Snacks, Hickory Smoked Almonds, and Nacho Peanuts. So not really any particular flavor profile…”
Carolyn: “Oh, it was because of our road name, Continental Blvd!”
Chad: “What about Firecracker Hot & Spicy®?”
Carolyn: “The naming of that mix was a group effort. But the idea for the name came from the long Charrito Fritos sticks because they look like firecrackers. We created that mix when nacho flavoring was all the rage, and everyone was putting nacho flavors in everything (and by nacho I mean like the Doritos’s flavoring). Sometimes when you are making these mixes it can get really boring when everything looks the same. So when you get to use interesting looking items in a mix it makes it fun to create the mix. It really is fun to try and figure out how to mix different textural items, different sized items and different shaped items to make it not only taste good but look appealing.”
Chad: “How about Sunburst™?”
Carolyn: “Sunburst™, I think my husband actually named that one. We had an account that always bought GORP (Good Old Fashioned Raisins and Peanuts trail mix). One time we threw M&M’s in the GORP. When we did that, it was just so pretty and colorful that when we were trying to figure out what to name it, my husband said why don’t we just name it sunburst! And the name stuck.”
There are many more stories about how our snack mixes were named. Here are a few more stories from Carolyn Bennett about just how a few of our snack mixes got their names.
What about the Artisan Creation mixes, like Kona Coffee Krunch™ , Wild about Wasabi® and PB&J Mix®?
We created the PB&J Mix® because we got a jelly flavored seasoning sample that we used in just that mix.
Wild about Wasabi®, I created that mix at a time when I was very interested in all things Wasabi flavors. We were already using wasabi peas in other mixes and selling them on their own. I knew that if we could season one of the nuts with that same type of seasoning, it would be really good. So I just kept on thinking what would be good with a wasabi coating. Then it came to me; a lot of Asian dishes, use cashews. So I had them season up some cashews with the wasabi seasoning, and they were awesome! The flavor was good, and I wanted to use them in a simple snack mix with the wasabi being the focal point. But, I thought a mix with just wasabi peas and wasabi cashews was just too boring. So the last thing to be added to the mix was a neutral item, almonds. I just called it Wild about Wasabi because I wanted the name be simple and describe exactly what the mix was going to taste like.
The Kona Coffee Krunch™ was similar to the way PB&J was created. Someone sent us a coffee flavored spice sample and we wanted to feature the coffee flavors so we paired the seasoning with pecans and added a few other fruit elements to it.