FFUPs and how Sam Tichnor is trying to create the next iconic snack brand
What do you do after spending several years as a business analyst for Capital One and then helping lead strategy for Harry's and Harry's Labs? Well you go launch a puffs brand of course.
Well in this case FFUPs, not puffs.
Sam Tichnor, FFUPs' founder and CEO, said his time at Harry's—where they would spend a lot of time doing deep category research—helped him come up with the idea for the CPG company that sells a childhood-favorite snack, but in alternative flavors.
"Cheetos is not a puffs brand. It's a cheese brand ... so I thought it would be really interesting to build a brand that's a puffs brand that isn't just focused on cheese."
Enter FFUPs, which offers flavors like Unambiguous Cinnamon Toast, Instant Hot Chocolate, and Professional Salt & Vinegar.
In addition to its unique flavors, FFUPs doesn't take itself too seriously and rallies around the fact that it's not a 'healthy' snack.
"If you're worried about FFUPs being healthy, you're on the wrong website. Go eat some carrots! But seriously, FFUPs are made from corn, oil and flavor dust. Nothing crazy. The corn goes through some machines, gets baked, sprayed with some oil and dust, put in bags and BOOM you've got FFUPs," the FFUPS website states.
Why go the unhealthy route with the messaging?
"Why is every new brand healthy? What if we say we're not healthy? What if we do everything that people aren't doing today? And how could that live as a brand," said Tichnor. "I don't think as an emerging brand launching, you want people to feel indifferent. You want to evoke an emotional reaction one way or the other."
FFUPs is currently available online, via Snack Magic and in a handful of retail locations, but Tichnor has lofty goals for the puff company as he looks to expand its retail footprint over the coming year ...
"If we do this right, in 10 years, we're going to be like the next modern iconic snack brand."
Listen to the full interview with Tichnor above.