Two San Diego entrepreneurs have developed a new subscription-based monthly mail service called “Mexitreat,” which offers the traditional high-spice, citrus and salt snacks that may be attractive to California’s 15 million residents with Latino roots.
According to the Pew Research organization, Latinos became the largest single racial/ethnic group in California in early 2014, with 39 percent of the population, up from just 32.3 percent in 2000. That made “California only the second state, behind New Mexico, where whites are not the majority and Latinos are the plurality.”
The dramatic growth of the Latino consumer has created tremendous business opportunities — and risks — for consumer packaged goods companies. Consequently, Latino advertising is growing at a 10 percent compounded rate, while English language advertising is only growing at about 5 percent, according to Statista.
Rather than try to convince Latinos through Spanish language ads that they should prefer traditional American snacks, Saul Torres and Algen Beringuel have developed a service that provides a rotating array of authentic Mexican childhood staples like pulparindos, mazapanes, rebanaditas, dulce de guayaba, tamarindo, dulce de leche, jamoncillos, and borrachitos.
The brothers jokingly refer to the box as a type of personal piñata that can be shipped as a pleasant reminder of home to Latinos anywhere in the world.
Mexitreat marketing and community engagement director, Leticia Gomez Franco, told the Remezcla.com blog:
We have family and friends who have left Southern California and are now living throughout the country, and whenever we chat with them, they always mention how much they miss the food, the flavors, that sabor of growing up in SoCal. We thought, wouldn’t it be cool if there was a Mexican care package? Something that could be sent to all the homesick folks trying to make it out there in college in the east coast or in the communities they’re building, setting roots all over the world?
Since initiating the service earlier this summer, many of the early subscriptions have been sold to Latino college students strung out across the United States and active service military men and women stationed around the world. Franco added, “Nothing makes us prouder than the feedback we get from homesick latin@s all over the world indulging in a delicious moment of nostalgia.”
Torres and Beringuel spend considerable time on the road in Mexico looking for authentic snacks and dulces to add to their piñata roster. Franco stated that: “As a South San Diego based company, we are fronterizos, we travel the border constantly.”
The partners say that their goal is to make sure each shipment covers the three basic Mexican treat groups: the staples, the older classics, and the new finds. Although they have discovered treats in every region of Mexico, some of the most popular items are the decadent chocolates from Oaxaca and newer concoctions coming out of places like Monterrey, Michoacan, and Guadalajara.
Mexitreat’s website advertises three subscription levels: month to month at a cost of $10.99, a three month pre-paid subscription at $29.97, and an annual pre-paid subscription at $99.99.