Ethnic Foods


Three new and unique items
now in introductory test
markets are expected
to attract younger, more
upscale consumers to
the category.

The national launch in America of Carapelli olive oil, the number one brand In Italy, has produced banner results. The premium extra virgin, extra virgin, mild and light olive oil varieties are well ahead of plan in terms of distribution and have exceeded market share goals. The goal is to educate American consumers about the differences among the four olive oils and their appropriate use, thereby driving sales for each individual offering. A fast-growing category, sales of olive oil have grown four to five percent annually for the past 10 years due to consumer interest in the health benefits offered by a Mediterranean diet.

Also within the Mediterranean category of ethnic foods, Marrakesh Express couscous realized strong growth from the couscous grande toasted Israeli couscous introduced in 1999.

The easy-to-prepare side dishes are available in four flavors-sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, roasted red pepper and toasted onion. An unflavored, all-natural Marrakesh Express couscous, in a 25.2-oz. resealable canister, is the only product of its kind on the market. Sales were outstanding. One unique and innovative product concept was the development of Marrakesh Express Spuds!, a five-item line of flavored potato cups that competes in the dehydrated potato category. Consumers need only to add hot water and the single-meal varieties - white Cheddar with chives, mushroom herb, roasted garlic, sharp Cheddar with bacon and sour cream with chives are ready in five minutes. Sales and distribution within the Peloponnese line of Mediterranean foods were driven by kalamata olives, pitted olives and roasted sweet peppers.

A consumer favorite now available in
pizza-style, breakfast-style, sandwich-
style and chunk-style varieties.

Hormel Foods has three brands - Chi-Chi's, El Torito and Herdez - within the Mexican food category. Three new Chi-Chi's Fiesta grill sauces, in saiga, chipotle and Tex Mex varieties, were introduced as a marinade for meat or poultry or for basting during cooking. The Chi-Chi's brand also beat industry competition with the debut of its Fiesta taco sauce in a new and convenient squeezable bottle. The El Torito brand of restaurant-authentic Mexican sauces and foods expanded distribution from southern into northern California.

The Dona Maria and Bufalo brands also performed well due to a marketing strategy that focused on high-consumption core consumers. Dona Maria mole, Dona Maria nopalitos and Herdez salsa verde are market leaders in the core Southwest markets in which they compete.

The fastest growing ethnic trend is Indian food and the Patak's brand is the number one brand, offering a broad lineup of sauces, marinades and condiments to help the novice cook create the taste of authentic Indian cuisine. Sales of Patak's cooking sauces reached double digits with Patak's Tikka Masala cooking sauce and Patak's Korma cooking sauce top performers. The House of Tsang family of Asian specialties enjoyed good success with its line of Hibachi Grill sauces. Thai peanut sauce and Kobi steak sauce were added to the existing line of sweet ginger sesame, spicy Hunan smokehut and Tokyo teriyaki sauces.