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Bold in Flavor, Easy on Prep

Dominique Saint Malo | September 19, 2023

Food | The Originate Initiative

The debut foodservice brand from MegaMex Foods is a finalist in the Hormel Foods Best of the Best Innovation Competition

To make your own pepper paste from scratch, you’ll need to set aside two hours of your day. During these two hours, you’ll toast, clean and soak your chile pods, and then give them a quick puree (using a specific type of blender, one you don’t mind staining and potentially permanently infusing with flavor). This pepper paste is sure to be delicious and worth your time. But what if you need that bold flavor and don’t have two hours to spare? Chefs will be relieved to learn that authentic, flavorful pepper paste is now just a squeeze away thanks to TRES COCINAS® Authentic Pepper Pastes from MegaMex Foods, a finalist in this year’s Hormel Foods Best of the Best competition.

Bold Flavor Made Easy

The Best of the Best competition spotlights the most innovative products from the family of companies at Hormel Foods. Product novelty, R&D problem solving, cross-cultural relevance and financial and strategic indicators are all major judging criteria. MegaMex Foods rose to the challenge via their first foodservice-exclusive brand TRES COCINAS® and the brand’s authentic pepper pastes, which are gluten-free and Kosher, contain simple, clean ingredients and come in three flavors:

  • Chipotle with Adobo Authentic Pepper Paste

    Smoky and spicy

  • Ancho & Pasilla Authentic Pepper Paste

    Fruity, with hints of dark chocolate

  • Guajillo Authentic Pepper Paste

    Slightly sweet

Real chile pods from ancho, pasilla, guajillo and chipotle peppers are blended and packaged in an easy-to-use, resealable pouch. “With just a squeeze, chefs now have immediate access to truly authentic Mexican flavors,” says Dan Burrows, who was a consulting chef for MegaMex Foods as they developed the pepper pastes.

Culinary professionals from MegaMex Foods created the pastes, and after an extensive training, sampling and the most comprehensive launch program in the foodservice history of MegaMex Foods, they received valuable flavor and performance feedback from a panel of well-established chef-operators. This input from expert chefs combined with the company’s proficiency in Mexican cuisine to allow MegaMex Foods to reach their goal of bringing authentic, hassle-free Mexican flavor to restaurants everywhere.

This new brand fully aligns with our purpose to reimagine Mexican flavors in both foodservice and retail.

Ryan Michaelis, president and chief executive officer at MegaMex Foods

Innovation and Consistency

TRES COCINAS® Authentic Pepper Pastes come in a resealable pouch to provide long shelf life, the first MegaMex Foods product to use this type of packaging. The product needed to provide consistent, bold flavor on the inside and prove forward-thinking on the outside. “We had to grow food service faster than the industry,” says Desiree Mimlitsch, senior brand manager of food service. Mexican food has surpassed Italian as the top choice for meals away from home and MegaMex Foods is always positioning itself ahead of the curve. With the help of external partners and incorporating value-added products, the development of these pepper pastes accelerated growth and strengthened their P&L. “TRES COCINAS® is more than just a great new product,” Dinner says. “TRES COCINAS® is a gateway product to new types of operators that allow us to continue our battle cry of, ‘Lead with innovation, close with avocado.’”