Even a lingering pandemic has done little to slow the momentum of Merkado, an independent restaurant serving Mexican comfort food in San Francisco. The establishment, which offers a menu inspired by Yucatán and Jaliscan cuisine, has been busy in 2022, with families and friends eager to reconnect over margaritas, fries and salsa.
“The concept of getting together in a fun, informal setting to get together is deeply rooted in Mexican cuisine and food culture, and Mexican dishes lend themselves to these kinds of social interactions,” said operator Fabien Santos. by Mercado. food institute.
Mexican cuisine has never been more popular as consumers embrace the bold flavors of cooking. The Mexican food market is poised to grow by $113.85 billion through 2026, posting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.65%, according to Technavio Research. Fifty-eight percent of market growth is expected to come from North America.
VARIOUS DISHES GAIN STEAM
The popularity of Mexican cuisine is evident throughout the food industry. A recent report by Datassential indicated that Mexican dishes like elote (grilled corn; pictured below, courtesy of Merkado), adobo sauce, concha (a sweet bun), and sandia loca ( “crazy watermelon”) are gaining popularity.
Further proof of the growing popularity of Mexican cuisine: fast-food chain El Pollo Loco recently declared its limited-time offering of Birria shredded beef tacos, burritos and quesadillas to be its most successful new product launch to date. and had significantly accelerated first-quarter sales.
Mexican cuisine “is versatile and favorable to those who are price-conscious,” Santos said. “With the current difficulties in managing pandemic-related supply chain issues, Mexican restaurants can easily pivot to using more accessible ingredients, without compromising the overall flavor of the menu.”
The growing Hispanic population in America could also have an impact on the cuisine’s growing popularity.
HISPANIC POPULATION GROWTH
America’s Hispanic population reached 62.1 million in 2020, a 23% increase from the previous decade, according to Pew Research.
Additionally, the Latino population of the United States has shifted away from states with historically large Latino populations. As recently as 1990, 86% of Latinos lived in just nine states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Texas). North Dakota was the state with the fastest Hispanic population growth rate at 148%, according to Pew Research.
As the Hispanic population grows in America, some food manufacturers are working to produce truly authentic and more varied Mexican foods, inspired by family recipes passed down from generation to generation, while more frequently sourcing ingredients from farms. mexicans.
Mexican food makers, like Somos Amigos Inc., aim to replace a narrow view of Mexican food in the United States with “one as diverse as the food I ate growing up,” CEO Miguel said. Leal ( Meat + PoultryApril 15).
Editor’s note: Photos of 1) the taco platter (top); 2) the dish of elote (in the middle); and 3) the Mixiote Costilla dish (below) was courtesy of Merkado and Molly DeCoudreaux.