La Costena Orders Creative via Concept Cafe

NEW YORK Vilore Foods, the Laredo, Texas-based maker and distributor of the La Costena brand of Mexican salsas, beans and peppers, has named Hispanic shop Concept Cafe to handle national creative duties following a review.

Concept Cafe, Miami, will be responsible for extending the brand’s message in Spanish beyond its top-selling hot peppers franchise to the entire ethnic product line via TV, radio and print, per Johanna Lugo, La Costena’s marketing manager.

The client spent almost $3 million last year on ads, up from $2 million in 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The target? U.S. Latinos ranging from recent immigrants who have used the brand’s mole sauces, cactus and other canned goods in Mexico to third-generation Hispanics who have an affinity for the brand through years of multi-generational use within their families.

The client’s canned jalapenos are the No. 1 selling hot pepper in the category in the U.S., per the distributor.

“The brand is at a very important stage, where we want to do a lot of new things for the pepper products, which is what we’re known for, but also for the other product categories, salsas and beans,” Lugo said.

The new creative team will be expected to take things up a notch and deliver a campaign touting the client’s varied product line for roll out at the start of the second quarter, Lugo said.

Led by principals Salvador Veloso, founder and creative director, and Marco Vega, planning director and partner, Concept Cafe beat out three Texas-based Hispanic shops for the assignment: Garcia 360 and the Cartel Group, both of San Antonio, and Cinco, Dallas, Lugo said.

La Costena put the account into play last November after it opted not to extend its arrangement with Ole, New York, which had held the account for the past three years, Lugo said.

MPG of New York will continue to oversee media planning and buying, Lugo said.