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Cacique: Mexican Food Now Outsells Italian


Cacique, the Mexican food brand, knows that 65% of Americans think family dinners bring people closer. But it also wanted to acknowledge that sitting down together is a challenge.

"Our brand has been around for 50 years, and the biggest compliment we receive is being invited to people's dinner tables," says Tirso Iglesias, Cacique's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "People know our brand for being authentic, genuine and real."

He tells Marketing Daily the campaign wants to communicate that Cacique’s ingredients still can connect people over a delicious meal, even if that doesn't happen at a physical table.

Created by Augustine Agency, there's a 30-second and 15-second TV spot, as well as digital and plenty of social, with a Spanish-language version to launch later this year. Iglesias says the company will spend between $9 million and $10 million on the effort, making it the biggest marketing push of the year.

While the company started 50 years ago serving Mexican consumers, it's since broadened to appeal to all Mexican food enthusiasts. "So that includes first-generation Mexican consumers, but also anybody who enjoys cooking Mexican food."

The brand switched to English-language marketing 10 years ago, an acknowledgment that Mexican cuisine has surpassed Italian in terms of U.S. popularity.

"We live in a world where salsa outsells ketchup and tortillas outsell bread," he says. "Our brand is meant to bring authenticity to everybody's table."

The insights behind this effort are that while its heavy core users continue to find plenty of time for sit-down family meals, "in adjacent households, there wasn't that same kind of monogamy, day in and day out. They could eat in their cars, on their suitcase at the airport, or at their desk at work. They need a little more education around products and authentic Mexican food, to understand no setting is really off the table."

It also addresses a shift in gender roles and the acknowledgment that dads cook more often, "and men now make up about half our audience."

Iglesias says the campaign also represents the new post-pandemic reality. While the last few years saw a surge in home-based eating occasions, people are back in the world now.

"So these moments when families get together are happening maybe three or four times a week, not every night," he says. "And they don't necessarily happen around an actual dinner table. Communal meals can happen whenever you want to feel close to people."

The goal is to increase sales and boost household penetration, currently at 1.5 out of 10. "Within the next three to five years, we aim to increase that to seven out of ten."

4 comments about "Cacique: Mexican Food Now Outsells Italian".
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  1. T Bo from Wordpress, June 29, 2023 at 5:29 p.m.

    Would like to see the basis for the data claim in this ad.

  2. Sarah Mahoney from MediaPost/MARKETING DAILY Contributor replied, June 29, 2023 at 7:29 p.m.

    Which claim? I'll track it down.

  3. T Bo from Wordpress, June 29, 2023 at 7:53 p.m.

    Mexican outsell Italian in U.S. (or whatever measures "popularity")

  4. Sarah Mahoney from MediaPost/MARKETING DAILY Contributor, June 29, 2023 at 8:05 p.m.

    Ah, you mean the headline of the story. I was surprised too, because, well, pizza. But in terms of restaurants, Mexican is biggest percentage: https://brizodata.com/en/mexican-food-is-the-most-popular-ethnic-food-type-in-the-usa-representing-11-percent-of-all-restaurants/
    And in terms of taste, there's this: https://www.leaders.com/news/business/americans-food-preferences-are-shifting/

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