Who Invented Tater Tots


Tater Tots an American favorite that is a registered trademark of Ore Ida products was invented in 1953 by Ore Ida founders Golden Grigg and F Nephi Grigg. Necessity is once again the mother of invention. The two gentlemen came up with the idea for Tater Tots when they were trying to decide what to do with the leftover potato pieces from making their french fries.

They had been discarding the pieces of potato’s as trash and felt that they could be doing something more than throwing the potato slices in the trash.

They took the potato pieces that were left over and chopped them up mixing them with seasoning and flour and fed it through their potato masher and cut off pieces as the mixture exited the masher. They called this new found product Tater Tots and offered them for sale the first time in 1956.

These potato treats got their name from the nickname for potato’s (taters) and likely because they were initially intended to be marketed to children (tots).

Not So Popular

The first go round in the supermarket did not work out as planned. People were not really interested in this new style of potatoes. One of the key reasons marketing professional felt that this idea did not take off was because, since the Tater Tots were considered scrapes by the Ore Ida folks they priced the product too low during its initial offering. Once the price was raised on the product the product began to sell. A year after its initial launch, the product was reintroduced with new packaging and pricing.


It is estimated that over 70 million pounds of Tater Tots are consumed each year in America alone. They do not have a big following around the rest of the world, not as big as they do in the US but they are still found in most European countries. They are offered under several different monikers both in the states and abroad by different manufacturers.

Potato Gems, Potato Royale, Tater Treats, Tots, Spud Puppies, Tasti Taters, Mexi Taters and a host of other names but at the end of the day it is the Ore Ida Tater Tots that is the original.

History of the Potatoe