Sunday, January 30, 2022

Casa Verde Meals Expand, Extend, Grocerant Niche Enjoyment


There is no doubt that grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food is driving top-line sales and bottom-line profits in every sector of food retail today. According to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®, “Casa Verde meals are the perfect solutions for time starved consumers seeking a fresh fast full-flavored meal with transparency that are ‘better-4-you’.”

Casa Verde offers four different sustainable entrees that can be ready in just 60 seconds with a stovetop or microwave: Garbanzos Al Pastor, Lentil Mole, Coconut Chowder, and Red Bean Pozole. All of the ingredients used in Casa Verde meals are 100% plant-based, organic, sustainably sourced, kosher and non-GMO. The Ready-2-Eat meals are convenient and accessible to all and can be purchased through Casa Verde's direct-to-consumer site.

In case you have not heard of them, Casa Verde was founded with the purpose to nurture America with delicious food and bring affordable wellness to communities nationwide. The parent company name, Ilinel, directly translates to "The Plants That Nurture Us" from a Mayan language, a play on the Latin American heritage of the brand.

Casa Verde looked for ancient ingredients, culturally relevant flavors and ingenuous technologies to re-invent traditional Latin dishes that are usually heavily meat based. Founder Harry Lewis, who left the corporate world to explore his own wellness and Latin roots, wanted to pay homage to this history by creating a line of innovative Latin food products that are completely plant-based, but keep with what their ancestors would eat.

The halo of better-4-you food is one of the hallmarks of the grocerant niche. According to Johnson, the ‘halo is a key driver in customer migration from one brand to another. In fact recently FMI and NielsenIQ found continuing high demand among consumers for transparency from food retailers and manufacturers, especially in a more omnichannel landscape. According to the report, two-thirds of shoppers (64%) said that they would switch from a brand they normally purchase to another that provides more in-depth product information, beyond nutrition facts. 

Steve Markenson, director of research and insights for Arlington, Va.-based FMI, stated, “The data from this report strongly reinforce the old adage that honesty is the best policy,” … “Consumers want to know where their food comes from and how it gets made and that has held true even as the pandemic has changed grocery shopping habits. Whether online or in store, shoppers prefer brands that tell the whole story about their products.”

Sherry Frey, VP of total wellness with Chicago-based NielsenIQ, stated, “Transparency trends continue to evolve as omnichannel gains importance,” ... “As consumers demand greater transparency, brands have an opportunity to educate consumers, communicate sustainability and health credentials, and win consumer loyalty.” 

So, get this, in the area of transparency, ingredient and nutrition information remain top priorities for a growing number of health-minded consumers. For instance, 89% said that general nutrition facts about a product are at least somewhat important in deciding which products to buy when grocery shopping, while 66% said this was important or extremely important. In addition to nutrition facts, the majority (80%) of shoppers noted other important transparency indicators: allergen information, certifications and claims, and values-based information such as animal welfare, Fair Trade and labor practices.

In 2018, a little more than one-fourth of shoppers (26%) bought groceries online in the past 30 days. The recent FMI/NielsenIQ report found that this number has now grown to 55%, making the online marketplace a crucial spot for consumers to seek their favorite brands and discover new ones. For example, 47% said that discovery of new products – including information on sourcing and manufacturing processes – is easier online, compared with 23% saying that it’s harder and 30% saying that it’s about the same. In the realm of online shopping and transparency, shoppers said that they want faster delivery (42%), easier-to-navigate websites (37%), more and better product information (30%), retention of order history (29%), more accurate search functionality (28%), and product recommendations based on preferences (23%).

Across the United States there has been a large movement towards plant-based diets with sixty-five percent of Gen Z'ers wanting a more "plant-forward" diet and seventy-nine percent going meatless one-two times a week, but there are limited options that are both affordable and healthy. Additionally, there has been a recent boom in Latin foods and flavors.

A recent study conducted by flavor and fragrance innovator T. Hasegawa shows that forty four-percent of Gen Xers occasionally eat Latin cuisine and thirty-three percent regularly eat it. Younger generations are looking for more culinary options and cuisines, but studies have shown that many are unable to find quality, ready-to-eat options. Casa Verde will be the first plant-based ready to cook meal on the market. Creating a variety of meals that are easy, accessible, and delicious so consumers don't need to compromise on what they eat. 

Don’t over reach. Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions® can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

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