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6 consumer goods brands to watch in ’22 in Puerto Rican market

In Puerto Rico, 2022 is a promising year for national consumer goods, including well-known brands as well as recently launched ones. Six companies offer a variety of high-quality products worth looking at.

1. Viande Foods
Viande Foods LLC focuses on consumers’ health and wellbeing by making locally inspired products, rich in nutrients and flavor. The company is enhancing root veggies in a unique and transformative way to improve people’s lives.

One of its flagship-packaged products is Viande Soups, 100% natural instant soups created with a combination of vegetables and spices. They are vegan, gluten-free, with no added MSG. Likewise, the company re-invented the traditional pizza by incorporating ingredients such as Caribbean spices, sauces, and plantain, all of them with a high vitamin content.

Both easy-to-make products are artfully crafted in Puerto Rico, with a tasty and colorful assortment of premium quality ingredients. They are distributed by V. Suárez & Company, Inc.

2. Caribbean Craves
Caribbean Craves Company, like many other small businesses, took the significant exoduses in the island after Hurricane Maria as an opportunity to restore Puerto Rico’s economic development by encouraging the cultivation of seasoning products, strengthening local manufacturers and intra-industry partnerships, and providing locally made products to all the Puerto Ricans living in the United States Mainland.

In this sense, the registered trademark based in the US has as a main goal to provide innovative products for Puerto Rican residents that want to enjoy the seasoning from their homeland and, in general, for the Caribbean food lovers that would like to have a pinch of the island on their dishes.

Caribbean Craves has developed different premium-quality products with 100% natural ingredients from different local farms in the Caribbean islands. The purpose of each species, sauce, and condiment is to make the consumers get immersed into a sensory experience and make it easy for all foodies to boost their recipes and taste authentic Puerto Rican cookery.

Its flagship product, Dehydrated Sofrito Mix, is already categorized as “Amazon Choice” and got ranked #109 as Best Sellers in the category of Adobo Seasonings. Currently, it is one of the few all-natural dehydrated sofritos in the market, considering that most of the brands offer sofrito powder or sofrito sauce, both usually combined with artificial colors and flavors.

The brand also launched the Puerto Rican Hot Sauce Expressions —Hot Pussy Cat ROJO Borinquen Hot Sauce and Verde Borinquen Hot Sauce — for those looking for delicious salsa with a variety of heat levels. In a broader perspective, the “made in Puerto Rico with love for everyone” products progressively are reaching new markets and more consumers, diversifying their target customers.

3. Café Draco Rosa
Café Draco Rosa is another brand to watch this 2022. It is 100% Puerto Rican coffee since it is harvested, produced, and packed on the Island from the finest Arabica beans. The product is validated by the passion of the Puerto Rican farmer to cultivate the land to offer the consumer its best fruits. The coffee beans are organically cultivated in the mountains of Utuado at over 2,000 feet above sea level for the best growing temperatures. Then, it is dried in the sun and toasted using indirect fire to avoid any contamination.

The brand was born as a project of the singer-songwriter Robi Draco Rosa together with the agribusiness owner Lester Marín to promote the Puerto Rican farmers. Around 25 coffee growers from the island provide the beans to produce this premium coffee. The product is available on RamSanLLC.com.

4. Rincón Rum
Rincón Rum was founded on Sept. 20, 2017, the day Hurricane María devastated much of the island, including the family’s farm in Rincón. After many years of wanting to empower the local economy and people of Rincón, at that moment of vulnerability, rather than donate a one-time gift, they were driven to start a sustainable business that could do so over time. 

This is a premium and craft rum, true to Puerto Rican rum origins. The company takes a creative culinary approach to Ron Artesanal, by starting with Grade A Molasses that, after the fermentation process, is distilled five times to be super clean and minimize any hangover potential. Finally, a blend of column-distilled rums is bottled by hand in small batches.

The rum produced is very light and crisp, but with a kiss of fresh sugar cane on the nose and palate – exemplary of the Puerto Rican style. Rincón Silver Rum is, then, a spirit inspired by the lively culture and bright surroundings of Puerto Rico.

Their products are a collaboration with Destilería Coqui in Mayaguez; however, the recipe is exclusive to Rincón Rum. Despite its high quality, this rum was priced to be affordable to all, worthy of the title “The Spirit of the People.”

In March 2021, the company received the license to sell, so now they are in more than 60 bars and restaurants in 8 different cities. Among their clients, they have Econo, Edward’s, Bonet Liquors, and San Expedito Liquor Store in Mayagüez. They are auto distributors, available from San Juan to Cabo Rojo. Their main goal is to be available in every town in Puerto Rico.

5. Forteza Caribbean Chocolate
Forteza Caribbean Chocolate is a fine chocolate line produced by Cortés Hermanos, a Caribbean family-owned and run chocolate company established in 1929. The brand is the result of the company’s partnership with farmers in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to establish and develop the local cacao industries.

Since 2014, Forteza’s main goal has been to promote Puerto Rican cacao as one of the best in the world, by making high-quality products with fresh local ingredients. In this sense, for the production of its smooth textured chocolate, the company uses vintage equipment and an artisan’s approach to process fine cacao beans. 

Nowadays, the brand has become a unique farm-to-bar fine chocolate experience. It also uses biodegradable material for packaging, as its founders are determined to support economic and ecological sustainability on the island.

Emily Cruz Villegas is a journalist and freelance content writer from Venezuela, with four years of experience as an academic researcher, mainly focused on economic development, public policies, and digital diplomacy. She has postgraduate education in International Relations at the University of Salvador (Argentina), and a master’s degree in Public Management at KDI School (South Korea). She may be reached at [email protected].

6. Bravada Vodka
Bravada Vodka is a new high-quality spirit manufactured by Casa Bravada, the first artisanal vodka distillery made on the island.

In November 2021, the Puerto Rican entrepreneurs Carlos López Vidal and Claudia Ferrer Tañón inaugurated Casa Bravada in the northern municipality of Toa Baja, a state-of-the-art micro distillery whose artisanal distillation process takes place in a 6,000 square foot facility. The company can produce annually around 600,000 bottles of its flagship product, Bravada Vodka.

Bravada Vodka is the first and only Puerto Rican grain-based vodka crafted in small batches, using the finest corn, and distilled six times in a custom-designed pot still, which results in a premium spirit with impeccable smoothness and a silky palate.

The brand is described by its producers as a bold and uncompromising liquor — just like its homeland — as its label transmits the spirit of Puerto Rico. In this sense, the identity and bottle design of Bravada Vodka are inspired by the island with a sand-colored label with turquoise details representing its beaches. Another interesting element on the label is the Puerto Rican boa, chosen as an indigenous animal and symbol of bravery, which is the meaning of Bravada.

The distribution of Bravada Vodka is overseen by Puerto Rico Supplies Group and the product is available in different points of sale around the Island in its 750ml bottle, at a cost of between $20 and $25.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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