VOL. 133 | NO. 22 | Tuesday, January 30, 2018
New Name, Other Changes On Tap for Nikki’s Hot Products
By Andy Meek
The popularity of Nikki Schroeder’s homegrown line of food and cooking products can be followed partly by tracking tweaks in the name of her product line, which is in the process of changing yet again.
Part of what the maker of what were once known as Nikki’s Hot Ass Chips has in the works for 2018 is another small, but important change to her products’ packaging. It’s gone from a certain word displayed prominently on the cover – with Schroeder’s familiar image, mouth agape – to something a little more subtle.
To help get the products onto more stores shelves, the branding added two asterisks, to become Nikki’s Hot A** products. The line is now in the final stage of another tweak, to simply Nikki’s Hot Products.
Nikki Schroeder is in the final stage of tweaking the name of her popular homegrown line of food and cooking products to Nikki’s Hot Products, part of a series of changes and plans she has in the works for 2018. (Photo courtesy of Nikki’s Hot Products)
“In 2017, we still were getting some pushback with some of the bigger places,” Schroeder said. “I resisted it for a super long time. Being the business owner, this is my brand. I’m going to do what I want to with it, you know? That kind of thing. But as it turns out, we just – we were getting met with too much opposition. So now we’re Nikki’s Hot Products.”
Packaging for her seasoning, Bloody Mary mix and 7-ounce chips has already been switched to that new moniker. Her 1.5-ounce chips have not yet been given the new labeling.
Her product line includes the chips, Bloody Mary mix, seasoning and nuts, and the brand has been a familiar sight on store shelves around Memphis, in part for the distinctive packaging. Concerns over the branding have cropped up here and there in the past as expansion has been pursued, something the founder is keen to see ramp up this year.
She’s hopeful to see major national distribution in 2018, thanks in part to being “really close” on a handful of deals that could help bring that about.
“We probably distribute in, say, 14 states,” Schroeder says. “But that’s a little misleading, because there might just be – for instance, we have one store in Florida.
“We’ve been working hard to grow outside this area. I hope that if you don’t know our product by name, you know it at least by sight in this area. And our goal is to make that true elsewhere as well.”
She already has a solid base of customers from around the country who order online. Her digital presence helps with that. Nikki’s Hot Products Facebook page pushes out a steady stream of cooking videos, clips in which she teaches viewers how to make things like salad dressing, as in a recent clip:
“Today, I’m going to teach you how to make the most delicious homemade salad dressing using only three ingredients,” she says. “Nikki’s Hot Bloody Mary Mix, mayonnaise and red wine vinegar.”
There are other new things in the works. Starting on Feb. 1 for customers in the Memphis area, Nikki’s Hot Products will offer free delivery for case orders and gift box orders. And there will be gift boxes offered specifically for Valentine’s Day.
“I mean, everybody wants free delivery and Amazon Prime and things like that, so why not support a local company for the same process?” she said. “We’re growing, making some positive changes and getting our tentacles spread as far as we can for 2018.”