Miguel Leal and his co-founders at Somos all hail from totally different cities in Mexico. Over the course of some years, they observed an enormous shift within the flavors of Mexican meals in US eating places. “Meals turned much more just like the meals we ate rising up in Mexico,” Miguel says. It’s now extra frequent to search out favorites like al pastor, birria, and elote on the menu.
A shopper packaged items (CPG) veteran, Miguel says the Mexican meals he noticed at eating places nonetheless didn’t match what he was seeing in grocery shops, the place the aisles nonetheless contained principally vivid yellow taco shells and canned beans.
So Miguel and his co-founders went on a mission to make Mexican meals extra accessible for house cooking. Their model, Somos is a line of burrito and taco kits, rice, beans, and condiments based mostly on genuine flavors.
Hear how Somos’ founders are capitalizing on restaurant traits with CPG Mexican meals merchandise.
Do not miss an episode! Subscribe to Shopify Masters.
Making cooking extra handy
Miguel and his co-founders felt assured in Somos as a result of they knew most individuals weren’t snug cooking Mexican meals at house—regardless that it’s some of the fashionable cuisines within the US. That is due partly to the big variety of components required to make sure dishes.
“What Somos is making an attempt to do is make Mexican meals as handy as making pasta with a jar of pasta sauce,” Miguel explains. Which means Somos needed to develop and take a look at recipes that required fewer components and fewer cooking time than the at-home recipes discovered on-line.
Growing distinctive cooking processes
The product development usually pressured Miguel and his co-founders to search for methods to seize the appropriate flavors and textures, and do it at scale.
For instance, Somos makes use of a cooking course of known as tatemado, which includes roasting greens and tomatoes collectively. That’s the key to Somos’ non-watery salsa. “So if you put it in your taco, the water from the salsa doesn’t make your taco soggy, and all the flavour stays on high,” Miguel says.
Sourcing clear components
Miguel says Somos has needed to battle misconceptions about Mexican meals. Some folks assume the delicacies is just too heavy or not nutritious sufficient.
“We wished our first line of product to be all plant based mostly, with clear components, as a result of we felt we would have liked to essentially differentiate ourselves from the remainder of the Mexican meals that was available in the market,” Miguel says. “Solely by beginning on the very high of high quality and style, then we might inform customers that there was a unique option to get pleasure from Mexican meals that might actually nourish you.”
Miguel spent a substantial period of time working with suppliers and farmers in Mexico and serving to them get licensed as non-GMO and gluten-free producers. And it’s paid off with prospects, who respect the standard of the components that’s much like restaurant meals.
Trying exterior the delicacies
Miguel and his co-founders don’t simply have a look at the traits in Mexican eating places for product concepts. In addition they look to different cuisines.
The Somos workforce noticed the recognition of Asian chili crisps with customers and wished to search out methods to copy that in Mexican meals. The reply was proper below their noses. One of many Somos co-founders had a household recipe for salsa macha, a Mexican model of chili oil.
“After we have a look at the similarities between two merchandise, we see this development of world delicacies, particularly in condiments, and we predict salsa macha just isn’t that totally different,” Miguel says. Somos and Fly by Jing, an organization that makes Chinese language condiments, partnered to create content material across the firms’ respective merchandise.
Predicting long-term recognition
Restaurant traits have an extended tail than you would possibly assume. Miguel and his workforce take common journeys to Mexico to peruse the aisles and discover merchandise that aren’t but extensively out there within the US. He meets with farmers about new components and has dinner with cooks.
Because of the size of the product improvement cycle, Miguel is already on the lookout for merchandise that Somos can carry to the market even 5 – 6 years from now.
To be taught extra about Miguel’s technique round recipe improvement and product growth, take heed to his full interview on Shopify Masters.