Instore - August 2018 - 28
"You see this reinvigoration and evolution
of Mexican food, whether it's with gourmet
restaurants, trendier small chains, even the
taco truck movement," he says. "It all puts
a different spin of excitement on it. And of
course, you have the established brands
and established consumption situations that
have been here for a long while. They're here
Whatever the situation or location, Harbar
says it has a tortilla to match.
Montemayor stresses the importance of
authenticity when producing tortillas. Unlike some other products, a quality, genuine
tortilla can provide greater potential than
something that doesn't carry those same
"I think it's bringing a lot of dynamism
to the supermarket and we are very
excited to be in that space."
CHEQUE MONTEMAYOR, HARBAR
Montemayor says Harbar's Maria and Ricardo's line - which is used heavily in supermarket prepared foods departments -
"In the case of Maria and Ricardo's -
which is a brand we have been nurturing
over the years and hope to continue pushing - it's a brand that we feel has it all," he
says. "It has the authenticity we bring into
this, through our family heritage and our
employees. We have our roots in Mexico. I
was born there."
Maria and Ricardo's is geared toward natural, organic and non-GMO markets. Montemayor says it's the leading brand in that
segment and performs well both at retail and
in foodservice applications.
Wrappy is Harbar's foodservice-only band.
It is geared toward deli shops and wrap
manufacturers. Mayan Farm carries a more
mainstream, ethnic focus, Montemayor
says. It is sold both at retail and in foodservice applications.
"Both Wrappy and Maria and Ricardo's tend
to be used a lot in supermarkets on the prepared foods side of things," Montemayor says.
"They work well for both warm applications
and for cold sandwiches as well. We work
with both pretty actively within that space."
He points out the importance of the relatively clean labels across the board.
"I think the cleanliness of the product is very
important," Montemayor says. "All of our
products are made with as real of ingredients as we can get. All of our product lines
are non-GMO. We have some organic varieties. Those are hot trends right now.
"When it comes to products that have those
features, which are adopted by supermarkets
more and more, we have an unparalleled portfolio. I will venture to say that, both on the retail and foodservice side, we have the widest
variety on the market. We have options in all
sizes and functionalities."
The importance of options
Tortillas are used for a wide range of applications, Montemayor says, so offering an
equally wide range of options is important.
"We try to play across the whole spectrum in
terms of consumption occasions, while also
keeping an eye on the nutritional components,"
he says. "We have everyday types of recipes,
good for the basic consumption occasion, but
we also have some more enhanced, better-foryou options that adhere to certain niches that
are growing in strength and demand."
Harbar's 12-inch tortillas, for example, work
well for a burrito or an oversized wrap. On
the other end of the spectrum are the company's four-inch tortillas that are ideal for
sliders, snacking occasions and, especially,
the popular street taco movement.
Montemayor again references the changing
world of Italian food as a point of reference.
"It goes through stages of evolution," he says.
"Again, what you see happening in the Mexican food category is what you've seen Italian
food do. You have all these new and exciting products that utilize tortillas, but then,
of course, you have your established brands
and consumption occasions and certain restaurant chains that have been here for a long
while. Those things are here to stay."
What this evolution is creating, he says, are
more and more retailers and foodservice operators who want something new.
"They want something clean and they want it
new," Montemayor says. "We like to be right
there in the first row to be offering what we
have in our portfolio.
The Maria and Ricardo's brand is heavily used in supermarket prepared foods departments.
28 * AUGUST 2018 * commissary INSIDER
He says operators are asking for cleaner
labels, particular flavors, more spice, and
smaller size options. Some are asking for
corn options that can perform as well as a
flour tortilla, with the flexibility to hold ingredients over a few hours rather than just
a few minutes.