What has been your best move over the past year?

The last 12 to 18 months have been an extraordinary period in the industry’s history. Before we talk about what we did, it’s really important to acknowledge the incredible commitment and tenacity of people working across the extended supply chain - from factory workers to drivers, and store workers, too.  

Our best proactive move? Most definitely the launch of Old El Paso Tortilla Pockets, which hit £6m RSV sales in the first year. It’s a simple, idea, really, adding a sealed bottom to our delicious tortillas. Consumers told us that they loved the hands-on customisation of Mexican food, but sometimes it can be a little bit messy and more difficult for little hands to handle on their own. So, Old El Paso Tortilla Pockets solved that problem.

From conversations with more than 2,000 consumers during the development of the product, we learned that Tortilla Pockets were also great on-the-go, for older consumers who might have more limited mobility, and even for lunch. That versatility of usage is the reason why they are 60% incremental to the category now.

What would you have done differently?

Ideally, we would have launched Old El Paso Tortilla Pockets even earlier. But starting up a new line and launching a new product platform during a pandemic was not without complexity. The factory’s first concern, as always, was care for people and then to ensure we were maximising supply of core SKUs at a time where images of empty shelves were the norm. 

Overall, it was quite an incredible feat to have a successful launch at that period. And we’re really grateful for the work of all of the extended teams to make that a reality.

What’s next for the brand?

We’ve got lots of exciting plans in the pipeline. Without a doubt, we will continue to build plans based on world foods’ category insights and growth drivers. We know a category-first approach and mindset is what unlocks growth for everyone. Beyond that, we’ll continue to keep consumer engagement at the heart of how we activate. To do this, we’ll bring an exciting new campaign to market, building on our fun and engaging ‘Make Some Noise’ platform. We’ll also continue to invest strongly in media to ensure that we drive top-of-mind awareness and category penetration.

But in terms of how we do things, we would love the opportunity to collaborate even more closely with our retail partners on best-in-class executions, so we can deliver on both of our objectives to drive total store growth. More broadly, we’re also integrating sustainability and social purpose even further into our brand. We truly want to bring that good noise of Old El Paso to every consumer touchpoint, so customers will hear much more from us in this space.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy your Fajita Fridays!