NEW YORK – Colorful, fruity, chili spicy, milk-and-honey sweet – these are traditional Mexican candies that reflect a rich culture while sparking both passion and nostalgia among Hispanics around the world.
Mexicans living abroad miss the products of their homeland, and it is precisely for them that a US company decided to create a subscription and home-delivery service of boxes packed with the most popular candies.
Mexitreat in San Diego, California, is a startup founded by Saul Torres and Angel Beringuel, two young guys brought up in Mexico who achieved resounding success in a market niche dedicated to soothing the nostalgia and cravings of expats living in the United States.
“I realized that a lot of people miss Mexican candy, which is often hard to find, and that I could make them happy by delivering a surprise package to their door,” Torres said in a telephone interview with EFE.
Candy bars of tamarind and marzipan, guava candy, lollipops called “rebanaditas,” “jamoncillo” fudge, and “borrachito” milk candy are classics that never go out of style and are some of the over 30 products included in these boxes that can be ordered with monthly, annual or quarterly subscriptions.
A great variety of candies exist in every region of Mexico, whose histories are linked to their pre-Columbian and colonial roots, among which tamarind reigns supreme.
Pulparindo – a popular brand of that candy – is made in Guadalajara out of tamarind pulp seasoned with sugar, salt and chili, which gives it a salty, sweet and spicy savor to which the Mexican palate is well accustomed.
Torres said there is a huge demand for these south-of-the-border goodies, so in his time off he heads for Mexico to find new delights typical of such places as Oaxaca, Monterrey, Michoacan and Guanajuato to offer his customers.
He added that, up to now, Mexitreat has done “very well,” without revealing any specific sales volumes.
The company not ony has faithful consumers in the United States – Canada, Peru, Brazil, Australia, Japan, South Korea and China are among the other countries that have received Mexitreat deliveries over the past year.
“Some 70 percent of buyers are women and more than half of our customers outside the United States are not Mexicans, and that pleases me a lot,” Torres said.
The Mexitreat brand has had such an exceptional reception that the startup is now set to expand into the wholesale business.