Puerto Rican eating trends

by Joanie Spencer
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Although the US Hispanic population’s purchasing power and food preferences are influencing eating trends among non-Hispanics, it’s worth taking a look at the inverse of influence, as well.

“I’ve always believed that in Puerto Rico, trends are usually four to five years behind the US,” said Mario Somoza, president and CEO, Pan Pepin. During the past decade, health-and-wellness has gained momentum in the US. That trend is now making its way to the island, particularly its multigrain, all-natural and non-GMO angles, Mr. Somoza observed.

Pan Pepin recently took a leap of faith and launched new products along these lines. “These new products are exceeding our expectations,” Mr. Somoza noted. “They’re expensive products — the most expensive fresh bread on the market is one of our all-natural products,” he said. Although it’s pricy for consumers, it has outpaced any projections the company had for it. “I think that’s the influence of health and wellness eating habits in the US that are now affecting us locally in Puerto Rico.”

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