Today Daniel Lubetzky, founder of Kind Bar, announced the launch of a new U.S.-based Mexican food company, Somos.
Somos means ‘we are’ in Spanish, and the company tagline is Food from the heart of Mexico. The brand is meant to challenge the perspective of ‘authenticity’ in U.S.-based Mexican cuisine, taking on brands like Goya, Old El-Paso, and Chi-Chi’s head to head.
Somos is doing things differently. According to Lubetsky, the company will nixtamalize corn for tortillas, fire roast vegetables and slow cook its beans, in the way that food is traditionally made in Mexico. These steps are important for preserving taste and nutrients. Nixtamalization is a process that increases the bioavailability of micronutrients and has been used in villages across Mexico since MesoAmerican times.
Latinos have $1.9TN in buying power in the U.S., and it is increasing. According to the University of Georgia, this represents 11% of spend overall in the U.S.
In today’s the company press release, Lubetzky explains, “Until now, Americans have had to dine out to enjoy a real Mexican meal. At home, options have been limited to foods that don’t actually exist in Mexico like fluorescent molded hard-shell yellow corn tortillas. SOMOS was created using inspiration from family recipes that have been passed down through generations and will introduce people to true Mexican cocina staples.” He adds that 7% of US restaurants are Mexican, and that “the U.S. restaurant scene is “15, 20 years ahead” of what’s available on the grocery store shelves, which he said are stuck in the 1970s.”
The New York Times
In this venture, Lubetzky joins forces with former Kind colleagues Miguel Leal and Rodrigo Zuloaga.