Mon. Aug 2nd, 2021

Frozen empanada brand Cocina 54 came out victorious at NOSH Pitch Slam 10 as the judges considered the brand’s practical and reliable acquire on the Latin American staple will enable it develop into a standout in the freezer aisle.

Introduced by 301. Inc, the two-part virtual pitch competition commenced on Monday with a area of 12 brand names presenting their two-minute pitches to the judges, who then picked the six finalists.

Today’s finalists involved seed-based mostly foodstuff model Over and above The Equator, superfood popsicle maker Honey Youngster, vegetable protein combine model Down to Prepare dinner, pasture-raised pork snack maker Singing Pastures and sprouted nut manufacturer Every day Crunch. Every single offered 5-moment pitches followed by responses from and reside Q&A with judges. As the winner, Cocina 54 will obtain an marketing package deal with NOSH valued at $10,000 alongside with the coveted Pitch Slam trophy.

Judges bundled John Haugen, founder and handling director at 301 Inc. Elly Truesdell, associate at Almanac Insights Jackie Dunklau, founder/principal at Aria Development Companions and NOSH reporter Erin Cabrey.

Launched in 2017, Austin, Texas-centered Cocina 54 aims to make a “new generation” of much better-for-you Latin American foodstuff, according to founder Cecilia Panichelli. The firm stays real to its Argentinian roots with reliable flavors and packaging layout encouraged by an Argentinian portray method called Filete Porteño.

Cocina 54 is capitalizing on the quick-increasing frozen food stuff segment and consumers’ raising desire in international flavors, both of those trends which have been accelerated by the pandemic. Cocina 54’s 4 SKU line of gluten-absolutely free empanadas are presently offered in the freezer aisle at pick out spots of vendors these types of as Walmart, Wegmans, H-E-B and Fred Meyer, as very well as via Amazon.

The judges were impressed by the flavors and advantage of the frozen, pre-baked empanadas, which can be prepared in the microwave or oven. The model has achieved profitability without having getting any outside funding, which Haugen noted was a promising element for a startup, alongside with Cocina 54’s scalable business design. Panichelli’s previous CPG knowledge, which involves roles at Nestlé and barbecue sauce maker Stubb’s, also produced the model attractive from an expense viewpoint, Truesdell mentioned.

Looking ahead, Panichelli said she sees the model rising into a broader platform for Latin American foods, with the best purpose of starting to be “a Goya for the millennial shopper.” Although line extensions in the short time period will keep on being in the frozen category, Panichelli claimed the brand name also has plans to inevitably launch within just center keep. The manufacturer also designs to raise funding this year, Panichelli mentioned.

“We surely will be interested in speaking to anyone that would adore to be portion of an extraordinary team of proficient folks that have loads of passion, are pretty scrappy, and seriously want to convey a item that is better-for-you and share our record,” she said.

Cocina 54 joins earlier Pitch Slam winners such as keto-friendly donut maker Elite Sweets, frozen appetizer manufacturer Savorly, Know Brainer keto marshmallows, Beckon lactose-totally free ice product, Creation Nation protein bar mixes, Watermelon Road dried fruit jerky and Tribali grass-fed frozen meat patties.