Social media feeds are already saturated with high-speed
food-prep videos, live cooking shows, and endless close-ups of
sexy deserts. Time Inc. has even launched a website focused entirely on
In all this, is there room for a digital-born publication focused
solely on Latin cuisine and culture? A celebrity chef and a
Spanish language media veteran think so.
Emiliano Saccone, who previously ran Fox’s Spanish language
network MundoFox and also headed up global content development
for Fox’s International channels, has teamed up with
restaurateur Aarón Sánchez,
a regular on shows like Food Network’s “Chopped” and Fox’s
“MasterChef” to launch a venture called Cocina.
The new media venture is aimed at
elevating Latin food and culture at a moment where the U.S.
Hispanic population is exploding.
The two entrepreneurs believe that young, digital-savvy Hispanic
consumers are looking for an outlet to celebrate their food and
heritage. Moreover, they think a broader set of Americans
are ready to graduate from ‘Taco Tuesday’ to sampling cooking
from Argentina, Columbia and other parts of South America.
“As a business guy, when I think about launching something, I
start with a gut feeling and vet that against hard data,”
said Saccone, who is Cocina’s CEO. “Right now, there’s
both a strong hunch that it’s the right cultural moment and
there’s enough data to prove it.”
Saccone pointed to the music industry as a model for where
American tastes are heading (see this past summer’s
Spanish/English radio smash “Despacito.”)
Thus, Cocina will feature a mix of recipe videos and articles,
series featuring top Latin chefs and lifestyle content. Think
lists like”Five Venezuelan Dishes You Need to Know About” and videos on
“Turkey Leftover Quesadillas.” The content will be distributed
on Facebook and YouTube, as well as on Wearecocina.com.
As for the business case for the new company (which is launched
during a period of digital media consolidation and uncertainty), Sánchez
said that all the major food brands in the U.S. are pushing into ‘Latin-tinged’ products, and as a result
advertisers’ multicultural budgets are on the rise compared to a few decades ago.
“Plus, marketers are realizing that in general Latinos are extremely loyal customers,” he said.