H.J. Heinz currently owns the trademark to “tater tots” so technically there is only one brand of original tater tots on the market. We will talk about that brand later in this article. However, many companies have copied the original and called them something different (i.e. potato puffs). We will also discuss those products as well.
In short, you will find some of the most popular tater tots and related products below. We hope you are able to find a product you can enjoy for years to come or at least learn a little about these brands.
Brands of Tots
Conagra is the enormous packaged foods company that owns Alexia. The company owns several other very recognizable brands such as Duncan Hines, Reddi-wip, Healthy Choice, and Slim Jim. They acquired Alexia, a natural frozen potato business, in 2007.
Alexia was started by Alex Dzieduszycki who saw an opportunity to bring higher-end frozen potatoes to the freezer sections of grocery stores. He developed a line of frozen potatoes that used different potato varieties, seasonings, and healthier oils than what already dominated the frozen potato section. Prior to Alexia, Dzieduszycki co-launched Terra Chips, a popular veggie chips brand.
Today, Alexia makes these tater puffs:
- Crispy Sweet Potato Puffs
- Organic Yukon Select Puffs
- Crispy Seasoned Potato Puffs with Roated Garlic & Cracked Black Pepper
Similar to Alexia, Birds Eye is a brand of Conagra Brands. The brand is nearly 100 years old and was one of the pioneers in flash-freezing foods. Today, the company makes an assortment of frozen veggies and meals. They also make tots but not the traditional potato kind. These tots are made with veggies.
The tots made by Birds Eye are:
- Broccoli Tots
- Cauliflower Tots
Farm Rich is owned by a family-owned business called Rich Products. The company is based out of Buffalo, New York. The business was started in 1945 by Robert E. Rich, Sr. Its first product was a whipped cream alternative without dairy that was more shelf-stable.
Farm Rich launched its Mandalorian Cheesy Potato Tots in April 2021. The tots are shaped like the head of the Star Wars character Grogu (Baby Yoda). They are made with real cheddar cheese, potatoes, and a whole grain coating for a delicious snack or side.
Farmwise Foods was founded on the idea of taking American classics like fries, tots, and rings and making them healthier. The company made its tots healthier than traditional varieties by using sweet potatoes, broccoli, and white beans as its primary ingredients. Farmwise Veggie Tots are gluten-free and Non-GMO Project verified. There is one serving of vegetables in just six tots.
You likely are familiar with Green Giant from its frozen/canned veggies and its iconic mascot, the Jolly Green Giant. The Green Giant brand name first appeared in 1925 on a package of giant-size peas. The Giant mascot didn’t make his first appearance until 1928, about three years after the initial Green Giant product was launched. It wasn’t until 1950 that the company’s business name changed from the Minnesota Valley Canning Company to the Green Giant Company.
Today, Green Giant is owned by B&G Foods. It was previously owned by General Mills until it was sold to the current owner in 2015.
Green Giant makes these veggie tots:
- Veggie Tots – Cauliflower, Cheese, & Bacon
- Veggie Tots – Sweet Potato & Cauliflower
- Veggie Tots – Broccoli & Cheese
- Veggie Tots – Cauliflower
The Idaho-based Lamb Weston specializes in the production of frozen potato products. Its products are sold in 100+ countries with the help of its 7,000 employees. Lamb Weston is a leader in the frozen potato category in North America. Look for the “Grown In Idaho” logo to quickly find these puffs in the freezer section of the market.
Ore-Ida was launched in 1952 with its first products being frozen corn and french fries. Tater Tots were invented by the Ore-Ida founders, Nephi and Golden Grigg, in 1953. They used the leftover potato scraps from making french fries to produce their first tater tots. According to the South Florida Reporter, the founders ran a contest to see if they could come up with a name for their new potato invention. Clora Lay Orton, a housewife, won the competition by coming up with the name “tater tots”.
Today, millions of pounds of tater tots are consumed each year with Ore-Ida being a top-selling brand. The Ore-Ida brand is currently owned by the giant food company, Kraft Heinz. Kraft owns the trademark to “tater tots” so technically Ore-Ida is the only legit tater tots brand available.
These tater tot products are made by the company:
- Golden Tater Tots
- Mini Tater Tots
- Golden Crispy Crowns
- Extra Crispy Tater Tots
- Onion Tater Tots
- Extra Crispy Crowns
Many stores have their own brands products similar to the original tater tots. Here are a few of the popular store brands that potentially may be found near you:
- Kroger – Simple Truth Potato Puffs
- Walmart – Great Value Taters
- Target – Good & Gather Veggie Tots
- Trader Joe’s – Organic Veggie Bites
- Aldi – Season’s Choice Potato Puffs
- HEB – Hill Country Fare Potato Puffs
- Publix – French Fried Tater Bites
- Meijer – Tater Bites
Image Credit – formulaone/flickr