Ilinel Food Company, founded by Guatemalan-born Harry Lewis, announced the launch of its new brand Casa Verde: healthy, affordable, ready-to-eat entrees for consumers everywhere. Backed by one of the largest food and beverage companies in Latin America, Casa Verde is making traditional Latin food completely plant based. Casa Verde is also committed to giving back to communities and has pledged to donate four meals to food banks across the country for every case sold.
The brand will launch with four different sustainable entrees that can be ready in just 60 seconds with a stovetop or microwave: Garbanzos Al Pastor, Lentil Mole, Coconut Chowder and Red Bean Pozole. All of the ingredients used in Casa Verde meals are 100% plant-based, organic, sustainably sourced, kosher and non-GMO. The ready-to-eat meals are convenient and accessible and can be purchased through Casa Verde's direct-to-consumer site.
Casa Verde was founded with the purpose to nurture America with delicious food and bring affordable wellness to communities nationwide. The parent company name, Ilinel, directly translates to "The Plants That Nurture Us" from a Mayan language — a play on the Latin American heritage of the brand. Casa Verde looked for ancient ingredients, culturally relevant flavors and ingenuous technologies to re-invent traditional Latin dishes that are usually heavily meat based. Founder Harry Lewis, who left the corporate world to explore his own wellness and Latin roots, wanted to pay homage to this history by creating a line of innovative Latin food products that are completely plant-based, but keep with what their ancestors would eat.
"I believe that brands have the power to change the world, change behaviors and help solve big problems. With Casa Verde, we believe that eating delicious, healthy and nutritious food shouldn't come with a premium, be complicated or restricted to those who can afford it," says Lewis. "I'm so proud to share my roots, my values and a little bit of the flavor from where I come from, while giving back to the country that has opened its doors to me and at the same time helping communities grow through affordable wellness and nurturing hearts."
Across the United States there has been a large movement towards plant-based diets, with 65% of Gen Z wanting a more "plant-forward" diet and 79% going meatless one-two times a week — but there are limited options that are both affordable and healthy. A recent study conducted by flavor and fragrance innovator T. Hasegawa shows that 44% of Gen Xers occasionally eat Latin cuisine and thirty-three percent regularly eat it. Younger generations are looking for more culinary options and cuisines, but studies have shown that many are unable to find quality, ready-to-eat options. Casa Verde will be the first plant-based ready to cook meal on the market.
Casa Verde partnered with a team of experts in the food industry, all with a combined 100 years of experience. The Trade, a cultural innovation and business development studio in New York City that specializes in Latin American culture and their influence in the USA, helped craft the concept, the packaging and the brand identity. To create the product, they partnered with CSAW, Singapore-based, multi-disciplinary Food & Agri firm that brought Jose's recipes to life.