Little Kernel: Big Taste in a Mini Snack
If you’re looking for a “better for you” type of snack, there’s a hot new product that’s winning rave reviews. All it takes is a handful of Little Kernel popcorn and we predict you’ll be a fan too.
The man behind the brand is Chris Laurita, husband of Jacqueline Laurita of the reality TV show Real Housewives of New Jersey.
“The show is a great platform for exposing a brand,” said Chris. “That’s what I use it for. They follow our life story and part of our story in the past year has been developing this product. There’s a lot of drama on the show. I try to stay away from that and use the platform to raise awareness for autism.”
Chris, a lifelong entrepreneur, began exploring the food and beverage space about seven years ago. His son has autism, so he and his wife have focused on nutrition and providing their son with healthy snacks. That interest led to the idea of coming out with their own snack food brand. Even though the snack food market is crowded, he said “I started to realize there were opportunities in the popcorn category. We use a smaller kernel. It’s got a much better crunch and better flavor.” He also says the size eliminates the choking hazard for kids and is also rare to get any stuck in your teeth.
There are currently six flavors, distinguished by bold, colorful packaging. They include Naked, Butter, White Cheddar, Sweet & Salty, Pink Himalayan Salt, and Truffle Sea Salt, which Chris names as the most popular. He plans to release a S’mores flavor in January. Each variety is non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free, kosher and popped in 100% olive oil. The 4 oz. bags retail between $3.49 and $3.99.
“We are also about to launch a 1-ounce bag in four flavors starting in January,” said Chris.
Little Kernel has national distribution. It’s sold online as well as in retailers such as Sprouts, Shop Right and Giant Stores. They are currently in the process of getting set up with Amazon to retail there as well.
One key component at the heart of this business is giving back. “Because of our journey with our son and his autism, we give a portion of all sales back to Generation Rescue,” said Chris. “It’s an autism charity that has helped our family so much. We try to raise awareness for autism. For my wife and I, that’s our passion. We do everything we can to give back to the autism community.”