5 posts categorized "Food and Drink"

Sign of the Times: Carne Asada Bake @ Costco

While visting my local Costco yesterday, I saw it. It slipped right in between the Chicken Bake and the Chicken Caesar Salad: The Carne Asada Bake, catering to the Tex-Mex food lover in all of us and definitely adding more diversity and "sabor" to Costco's cafeteria menu. With Pico de Gallo, Guacamole and Cheese (no cheese, no Tex-Mex!), combined with USDA Choice Seasoned Beef, I certainly hope this one's a keeper.

Imported appetites: Rancho Mendoza's rise highlights growing demand for Mexican-style foods

July 18, 2010
By Martin Espinoza


Even in a sour economy, there are opportunities for Latino markets, said Juan Tornoe, chief marketing officer of Cultural Strategies, an Austin, Texas-based firm that specializes in the growing Latino market.

"The advantage a grocery store has is that we have to eat," he said. "You'll begin to cut a whole bunch of other stuff before you start cutting food. That's an opportunity and an advantage."

Tornoe said Latino markets also are starting to see competition from mainstream giants such as Safeway and Wal-Mart. At the same time, they are beginning to attract more non-Latino customers, he said.

Read the entire article at THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Filling Shopping Carts, and a Community Need

“Markets like Mi Pueblo started by catering to an exclusive population,” said Juan Tornoe, of Hispanic Trending, a market research company based in Austin, Tex. “But now they have grown enough to compete with the big boys.” 

Via The New York Times

It's an honor to have the opportunity to contribute with the New York Times again. Thanks a million to Sheila Himmel for reaching out!

Read the complete article here.

Hispanic Average Annual Expenditures

Last week I received a message from a major corporation serving the Latino community in the Food sector (I won’t name names) asking for some specific info they needed to put the icing on the cake for a presentation they were about to make to a MAJOR retailer (again, I’m not naming names).

Knowing where to find the info they needed, I went directly to the U.S. Department of Labor’s website and got the Average Annual Expenditures, according to all the Consumer Expenditure Surveys I could find where the segmentation showed exclusive data for Hispanics. I found data from 2003 through 2006 and shared it with them.

Then my OCD kicked in…

You can download the excel worksheet that came to be once my obsessive-compulsiveness was fully satisfied. I hope you find it useful.

There are so many interesting inferences that you can come up with from reviewing the data, not only as absolute numbers, but through the passage of time AND by viewing the Latino Community annual expenditures as a percentage of their after taxes income... Then you compare it with data available for Non-Hispanics and it gets even more interesting!!! Have I told you already that I am a research freak?
I’ve come to some pretty cool conclusions; I’d love it if you would download the worksheet and
share with us what data caught your attention. You can always comment on this post or, if you prefer, shoot me an email.


Pollo Campero: A Top of the Line Franchise “Orgullosamente Guatemalteca”

By Juan Tornoe

Logo_camperoWhile visiting a client in Houston a couple days ago, I had only one thing on my mind: “There’s Pollo Campero in town”.

Right after taking care of business, I headed straight to the promise land. Actually, I temporarily hijacked one of my client’s PC’s to find directions to the nearest Campero, ending up at the one on Bellaire Blvd., near a TACA office and an Adoc shoe store, as well as several other businesses that screamed Latin America… I was “home” and it felt right.

When I parked outside, I truly felt like a 5-year old kid just about to enter Disney World for the first time. I was in true amazement by watching how Pollo Campero has perfected their franchise.Pollo_campero2

You really have to come from one of the Latin American countries where Campero is a household name to fully appreciate it. I’m lucky to be from Guatemala, where the company started.

Even though I had been doing a good job at being a vegetarian for more than a couple of years, the “Tierno! Jugoso! y Crujiente!” (Tender! Juicy! Crunchy!) brought out my primal carnivore instincts… I just had to have it.

The restaurant’s infrastructure was as inviting as I remembered it… Could perfectly picture a birthday party going on at the children's area, with piñata and all.

Pollo_campero1After walking through the front door, I was greeted by a, “Buenas noches, le puedo tomar su orden?” by the cashier. Yes, they immediately address you in Spanish. Awesome.

I instantly called my wife and, as if just having won the lottery, said, “You have no idea where I am… at Pollo Campero and I’m bringing some home!” It must have been hysterical watching me be all exited about being in a fast food joint.

The menu blew my mind. Not only did it had everything that I longed for from the Guatemalan Pollo Camperos, it also included ALL the regional favorite side orders from El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Ecuador. They are so insightful as to offer different fried chicken combinations with or without dark meat; I’ve noticed that generally the white meat is more enticing for Americans, while the darker one is more appreciated by Hispanics.Menu_campero

The icing on the cake was the wristbands they where selling at the cash register, all read “Pollo Campero” on one side and a name of one of the countries where they have restaurants on the other. Took two from Guatemala back home to my kids.

Pollo Campero most certainly hits the bull’s eye while catering to the Hispanic Community; there’s a lot to learn from them.

Go, experience the restaurant, try the chicken, you’ll see what I mean… Buen provecho.

Note: Originally Published in November 2005 on Hispanic Trending