Crunching Numbers – and Chips – with Prime Planet’s Marie Gonzalez

Q & A Regarding the Packaged Tostones Market in the Americas

As Business Development Manager for Prime Planet, Marie Gonzalez knows her plantains – the main ingredient of this popular brand of all-natural tostones snack chips grown and manufactured in Ecuador. Based in Miami, Gonzalez also knows a market research trend when she sees one and other key drivers impacting the state of the healthy dry-snack food sector across the country.

With years of experience in international foods, Gonzalez is presently spearheading a major expansion of Prime Planet’s all-natural green-plantain chips in the nation’s highly competitive salty snack-chip market. We recently asked Marie to put all her chips on the table, in talking with us about the state of the industry. Here’s what we learned.


Q. What’s your take on projections that the packaged tostones market is poised to grow quite steadily this year.

Gonzalez: Let’s first consider the big picture with a recent report by 360 Research Reports, indicating that the global snack market remains on target to soar to a $607 billion by the end of 2026. In fact, between 2021 and 2026, that study estimated that the global snack segment is projected to post an annual compound growth rate of 3 percent or so. That’s solid and steady growth. It’s also important to note that the most snack food revenue of any nation globally is generated within the United States, some $105.9 billion in 2022. In fact, packaged tostones market analysis indicates that each person in the U.S. accounted for $66.49 in snack food industry revenues this past year. And Prime Planet is eager to chomp into this business, so to speak.


Q.What are the top dynamics currently defining the development of the packaged tostones market in the Americas?

Gonzalez: The primary market driver influencing packaged tostones market projections at present is the wide availability of plantains in the Americas and evolving taste preferences toward more diverse food selections. What’s also feeding this growth is the continued popularity of online shopping.


Q.So, you’re saying the wide availability of plantains is a challenge to market growth for manufacturers of packaged Tostones?

Gonzalez: Yes, I would say this is certainly a market challenge, as we are seeing threats from emerging competition in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region and other regions that are planting the seeds for a larger slice of the U.S. import market. But the primary green-plantain exporters remain to be Ecuador ($3,83MM), Philippines ($1,66MM), Costa Rica ($1,28MM), Guatemala ($1,16MM), and Colombia ($1,07MM). I might add that, the rise in plantain production mirrors the rapid rise in LAC fruit and vegetable exports to the U.S., which is attributable to a number of factors, such as higher U.S. incomes that support a year-round demand for fresh produce, healthier eating, and freer trade with countries that export fresh fruits and vegetables.


Q. And evolving taste preferences toward more diverse food selections is also a driver in the healthy dry-snack sector in the U.S.?

Gonzalez: Snack food industry trends now include everything from cereal to packaged fruits and vegetables and healthy snacks – such as natural plantains. Consumers with an eye toward health and nutrition look for so-called “functional ingredients,” like calcium, high fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Snack flavors are also important in this evolving world of snacking. In fact, we saw this coming and so in 2022, Prime Planet began distributing our newest flavor, barbecue Tostones to wholesalers and retailers.


Q.You noted that the continued popularity of online shopping is also feeding this growth in the dry-salty snack category?

Gonzalez: Yes, absolutely. Consumer trends continue to point toward increases in e-commerce for ordering snacks and a focus on functional snacks – healthier options providing nutritional value. In fact, those functional snacks were the second highest contributing category to the snack industry’s retail dollar growth during 2020 and 2021. The only products ranking higher were personal care products including toilet paper.


Q.What technological advancements and new innovations do you see emerging soon?

Gonzalez: We shall see, and I don’t want to tip our hand to our competitors in the healthy dry-snack category. Suffice to say, we remain focused on development of new products and flavors and closely follow the functional food trends of the market. Stay tuned!

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About Prime Planet
An innovative international food company based in Miami, Prime Planet is committed to bringing to market a line of crunchy Tostones snack chips that are truly all-natural, gluten-free, non GMO, and even kosher-certified. Tostones not only come in the most delicious flavors (BBQ, lime, sweet chili, habanero, and original), but are an all-around healthier snack option, too.

Knowledge, expertise, and direct access to leading global logistics and distributors of wholesale snacks and bulk-food products allow Prime Planet to find the shortest and most efficient commercial routes for ideal product shipment and product placement.

Become a Green Plantain Snack Distributor
For more information, or to become a distributor, visit www.primeplanet.net; or contact Business Development Manager Marie Gonzalez at 305-592-2044; or via email at bdm@primefreshproducts.com.

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