Tag Archives: 2012


10 Hot Food Trends of 2012

Thankfully, many of the food trends I feared at the beginning of 2012 have not come to pass. However, even in eight months, there have been some very noticeable developments in both the food we are served in restaurants and the way we cook at home. Some of them are welcome and some less far less so, but it won’t be long before everyone is jumping aboard the latest food fads of 2012.

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Deliciate: Mexico’s New Take on Dulce de Membrillo


Literally meaning 'quince fruit candy,' dulce de membrillo is a popular sweet around the world typically eaten for dessert or as a snack with cheese. The traditionally method of preparation involves cooking the mixture of quince fruit, sugar and water over a slow fire. When cooled, it forms a solid block that can be cut into thin slices.

Analysis and Impact:

From the small Mexican town of Tehuacan, Deliciate has been born in an attempt to create a new take on dulce de membrillo. The name is a combination of the word delicia  meaning delight and ate the common name for dulce de membrillo in Mexico.

Traditionally made from quince fruit, or sometimes guava in Mexico, Deliciate comes in a wider range of flavors using seasonal fruits from Mexico. Along with quince and guava, the ate is available in mango, mamey and pear.

Company: Deliciate Tehuacán.

Brand: Deliciate Atería Casera.

Spotted in: Tehuacán, Puebla.

Ingredients: Seasonal fruits.

Available in: For order from company for restaurants or social events.

Claims: Free from preservatives; home made; produced using traditional methods.

Website: Deliciate Tehuacán

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Taxi Rosa

Pink, Women Only Taxis


Pink Taxis are the newest idea to make traveling in Mexico City safer for women. The Mexico City government have recently been implementing more measures to avoid sexual assaults on women traveling on public transportation. The subway offers separate carriages for women and children, now at extended hours, and some bus routes offer pink buses exclusively for women.

Analysis and Impact:

So far, in Mexico City Taxi Rosa is only available in downtown and in the neighborhood Roma – a popular spot for dining, bars and night entertainment. A similar service has also been set up in Puebla, the fourth largest city in Mexico.

All the drivers at Taxi Rosa are women and taxi sites are located in safe areas. Not only does this service provide safer modes of transport, it is also creates new employment opportunities for women as currently it is very rare to see a female taxi driver.

Company: Taxi Rosa.

Spotted in: Mexico City.

Price: Equal to regular tariff.

Available in: Centro and Roma, Mexico City; Puebla.

Claims: Safer for women traveling by taxi.

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Lala Avengers

Avenging Your Yogurt


Avengers was a huge success in Mexico with some movie theaters showing the movie almost exclusively for the few weeks it took to the big screen. Although watched by adults and children alike, it was a clear winner for the younger generation. One of the biggest dairy products providers in Mexico, Lala, is hoping to entice more customers into buying their products with a limited edition range of drinkable yogurts, each of which features a different Avenger.

Analysis and Impact:

The limited edition range comes in different flavors to the classic Lala yogurts. Iron Man is strawberry, raspberry and blackberry; Thor takes mango and coconut; Black Widow has blueberry. The package, featuring a picture of the Avenger, is marketed as a collectable item to encourage consumers to purchase one of each.

Company: Lala.

Brand: Lala Yoghurt.

Spotted in: Comercial Mexicana, Mexico City.

Presentation: 250 g.

Price: $6.50 MXN.

Available in: Supermarkets, convenience stores.

Claims: Delicious, practical consistency to enjoy at any time, natural source of protein and calcium.

Website: www.lala.com.mx

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Cereal de Fibra de Trigo

Is Sucralose Becoming the New Sugar?

Sweeteners are not exactly a new thing but they are certainly receiving more demand than they previously were in Mexico. Sucralose is being added to many products both as a sugar substitute and as an additive. At 600 times sweeter than sugar, this is one of the strongest sweeteners on the market and sure to appeal to the sweet toothed public.

The popularity of sucralose is exemplified in the own brand of the supermarket Comercial Mexicana with Cereal de Fibra de Trigo (Wheat Fiber Cereal). The package announces the new addition to this cereal with a label reading "Sweetened with Sucralose."

Analysis and Impact:

Sucralose has a strong, rather chemical "love it or hate it" flavor. Wheat bran cereal is normally seen as a healthier option but the addition of sucralose suggests a demand for sweetness even at breakfast.

Sucralose is by no means unhealthy. Other than a some possible negative effects on the environment and research that suggests it may reduce levels of good bacteria in the intestines, there are no health concerns for this sweetener. With more products seeing the addition of this calorie free additive, it seems the Mexican public are going to have to like it or lump it.

Company: Comercial Mexicana.

Brand: Golden Hills.

Spotted in: Comercial Mexicana, Mexico City.

Presentation: 650 g.

Price: $34.90 MXN.

Available in: Comercial Mexicana, Sumesa.

Claims: Captures the same flavors found in the best Mexican restaurants.

Website: www.comercialmexicana.com

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Cereal Chewy

Chewy Cereal, the Innovative New Idea from Quaker

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about cereal is usually the crunchy, crisp texture. However, with companies always trying to think of new, innovative ideas to keep consumers interested, sometimes they have to do something different. From this, the Cereal Chewy range by Quaker has been born.

Analysis and Impact:

The Cereal Chewy line is a new creation from Quaker aimed at children. The cereals come in some the most loved varieties such as Azucaradas (known in other countries as Frosted Flakes or Frosties), Frutas (similar to Froot Loops) and Chocolate. Although the flavors may not invoke the idea of a healthy option, they are marketed as having 30% less sugar than competing products. For children who do not like the crunch of regular cereal, maybe this will prove to be a popular alternative.

Company: Quaker.

Brand: Cereal Chewy.

Spotted in: Commercial Mexicana, Mexico City.

Presentation: 450 g.

Price: $25.20 MXN.

Available in: Supermarkets, online.

Claims: Chewy, 30% less sugar than competing products.

Website: Quaker Products

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Top Snack Trends For 2012 Include Seaweed and Mango

Multicultural influences are playing a large role in the development of new snack flavors

Seaweed, chickpea and lentil snacks as well as sweet and salty flavor pairings are being touted as the top consumer snack trends for 2012.

Multicultural influences, particularly from the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Asia, are playing a large role in the development of new snack flavors, says the National Confectioners Association which is playing host to the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago this week.

Increasingly worldly palates are also driving new snack trends that defy traditional flavors, putting seaweed, chickpea and lentil-based products on grocery store shelves. For instance, sheets of roasted, salted seaweed traditionally eaten with rice in Korea, have become increasingly popular in major urban centers with large Korean populations.

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Puré de Papas

Innovative New Idea from Sabritas


Sabritas are branching out to new categories with their new mashed potato mix Puré de Papa. This is a very innovative idea that is just beginning to hit the market. So far, we have not even seen the product for sale in stores – it was spotted in a flyer in Guadalajara. The packets are available in three flavors: natural, rajas with cream and brocoli with cream.

Analysis and Impact:

The product is very easy to make, and its convenience will hopefully encourage people to consume potatoes in a healthier way. The mix has very low fat content at 8 grams fat per every 100 grams, and only 3 grams of which is saturated fat. The mix is also free from cholesterol, making this a much healthier alternative to the majority of Sabritas products.

Company: Sabritas.

Brand: Puré de Papa.

Spotted in: A flyer in Guadalajara.

Claims: Zero cholesterol, very low fat, easy to make, convenient.

Website: www.sabritas.com

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Ego Shampoo & Gel

Packages with ‘Free’ Bonus Items

Adding a free bonus item is a great selling point. It puts products above their competitors, and gives consumers the chance to try another product from the company or gain a free gift. However, are these items always free? It can be hard to find out without a bit of searching, as the promotional packages are often placed on their own shelf while single items are in a different aisle all together.

There are numerous examples of packages with a 'free' bonus item in the cosmetics section of the supermarket Soriana. The first I price checked was a 400 milliter jar of Nivea Creme with cosmetics bag. Alone, the creme costs $79.95 while with the 'free' bag the price is increased to $84.00. It is by no means a large price difference but customers who did not particularly want to purchase a cosmetics bag would still be making a loss through thinking they were getting something for free.

Another example is the Mexican product Saba Buenas Noches pack of 28 sanitary pads. With a towel bag, the price increases from $58.00 to $65.50 – I would be surprised if the towel bag is worth much more than the extra $7.50.

There was, however, one product that went completely the other way. A 250-milliliter bottle of Ego shampoo normally costs $41.00. The pack containing an additional 250-milliter bottle of drops in price to $40.00

It just goes to show, marketing can be deceptive. Consumers need to decide whether they really want that 'free' item and check what the price normally is to ensure they are getting a good deal.

Purchased at: Soriana.

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Star Gum

Young Old Guy in Mexican Star Gum Commercial

The new Mexican brand Star Gum is making its presence known through a popular advertising campaign on the theme of  youth lasting for too long. The character featured in the commercial is known as Chavoruco, which is Mexican Spanish for young old guy. The commercial shows the guy speaking arrogantly about himself for a couple minutes before he is hit across the back of the head by a giant (and rather cute looking) star gum.

Fans of the Star Gum are invited to send in their own photo, video or story of someone they know who is Chavoruco, with the chance to win a tablet. Participants base their ideas around the character in the original Star Gum commercial, shown here with English subtitles.

Despite their advertising campaign and popular commercial, Star Gum is almost impossibly hard to find. After looking in several supermarkets, convenience stores and numerous street stands, I finally discovered the gum in the K, and even then, they only had the gum in one flavor. Star Gum seems to be suffering from heavy competition from the more well known brands that dominate the Mexican market.

Brand: Star Gum.

Presentation: 8 g; eight pieces.

Price: $5.00.

Purchased at: K.

Claims: Intense flavor that lasts for longer.

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