Canada’s savvy consumer reporters Anna Wallner and Kristina Matisic have recently moved on from their long-running The Shopping Bags to Anna and Kristina’s Grocery Bag. The new series has aired only a few weeks on the W Network, and already the new addition to the Anna and Kristina brand has been picked up for a second season. Realscreen caught up with them on a break from the filming of their upcoming season, to discuss their Vancouver-based production company Worldwide Bag Media, Inc., and their new show, which brings their willingness to test just about anything, to the kitchen. Cookbooks, oven mitts and tested by hosts Wallner and Matisic weekly.
Can you tell me about Worldwide Bag Media, Inc.?
Matisic: We started the company in March, when we started producing Anna and Kristina’s Grocery Bag, but of course we plan to produce all of our shows from Worldwide Bag Media.
Wallner: Worldwide Bag is New Shoes Productions, which coproduces The Shopping Bags. We’re not seeing it as a new company, we’ve been producing Shopping Bags for seven years, this is just a new company name to produce our new batch of shows.
What was the reason behind the move to the new show?
Matisic: We’ve been doing The Shopping Bags for seven years, a long time in television, and we just felt it was time to freshen things up a bit, and it’d always been our intention to take the show and our consumer advocacy in other areas and food was always an area of interest to us. There’s so much to know about buying food, the products to buy today, and there’s so much selection, and so much more reason to be thrifty these days, that it just seemed like a natural to start with the kitchen. That’s when we decided to go with Anna and Kristina’s Grocery Bag but we do have plans for other shows that focus on other areas.
How tough is it to be the host/executive producer/creator of these shows?
Wallner: It doesn’t leave enough time to get a manicure.
Matisic: It’s a lot of work, but we enjoy all aspects of it as hosts and the creators. Being executive producers just gives you that much more control of the vision that we’ve had from the beginning so people always say it must be so hard to do it that way, but we’ve never done it any other way so we don’t know any better.
What else is in store for the two of you?
Wallner: Well we just finished up work on a pilot that hopefully W will be running in the new year, Anna and Kristina’s Gym Bag, which focuses on fitness and fitness related products. There’s lots of products out there and things to know about fitness, health and healthy eating, something everybody’s mentioning these days.
Matisic: We’re also working on a new website, annaandkristina.com, so that should probably be launching in November. We’re looking at it being a shopping community. We’ve given out shopping information and tested so many products over the years we want to get a wider reach than that, so other people can contribute their shopping stories and their tests and their thoughts on products. We’re really asking the online community to take part and become a Shopping Bag as well and help us rate products and let us know what’s great on the market.