Nothing speaks to Latino tradition like food. Recipes are passed from generation to generation. So when HuffPost Latino Voices heard that Cheerios was adding a personal favorite, dulce de leche, as a new product, we were eager for a taste.
Dulce de leche, which literally means “sweetness of milk,” is a thick milk-based sauce that is popular throughout Latin America.
We were curious to see the response to this new product from the all-American Cheerios brand. When we had some folks here at HuffPost try a taste test of the new dulce de leche-flavored cereal, reactions were mixed.
“As a long time lover of dulce de leche, who has a tepid (at best) relationship with cereal, I was pleasantly surprised with this. Both dry and with plain soy milk, these Cheerios were a pleasure to eat,” said HuffPost BlackVoices blog editor and community manager Lucette Jefferson. “If provided these at the breakfast table, I’d be willing to toss my usual apathy for cereal to the wind and chow down.”
Others, however, were not as inclined to add the new product to their daily breakfast diet.
“I’m not a fan,” said Cindy Rodriguez, an associate editor at Latino Voices. “And, as a fan of dulce de leche, this offends me.”
Others went further. “Yuck, that is not good,” said Miguel Ferrer, Managing Editor at HuffPost Latino Voices when he tried the new product. “This does not taste like dulce de leche. No, thanks.”
We couldn’t help but wonder, why dulce de leche? Why a Latin American flavor in a quintessential American cereal?
In her Huff Post blog “‘Jumping on the ‘Latino bandwagon,'” Monique Frausto wrote about “the shift in the marketing and media world” to tap into the HIspanic market and how “major companies have decided to ‘Latinoize’ their brands.” Frausto said that targeting the Latino consumer “is not only smart, but it’s profitable.”
Given the dramatic growth of the Latino population in the U.S. over the past 10 years, Frausto’s claim seems accurate. The Hispanic population increased 43 percent between April 1, 2000 and April 1, 2010, making it the fastest-growing minority in the country, according to the 2010 census. Latinos currently account for more than 50 million people in the U.S., making them a highly attractive and lucrative niche market.
Many companies are taking notice. “Cosmopolitan Magazine” is answering the call with “Cosmopolitan Latina,” which will launch in May 2012. The magazine will be a twice-a-year publication, aimed at American-born Latina women who are bilingual and bi-cultural.