published on September 28, 2016 - 12:07 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
Ruiz Foods has quietly begun test marketing a new Chipotle-like frozen burrito that, if successful, could broaden the company’s highly successful product line.

The new offering from the Dinuba-based manufacturer, Ruiz Foods, branded under the name Three Bold Brothers, has been available in select Walmart stores for about two weeks.

The large, “bomber”-style burrito, made with either grilled chicken or grilled steak, resembles offerings from fast casual restaurant chains like Chipotle, Qdoba Mexican Grill and Baja Fresh.

A company spokesperson confirmed this week that Three Bold Brothers burritos have been on the market since early September. “This is a test product,” the spokesperson said. “It’s not the first time the company has done something like this.”

The Three Bold Brothers burrito is not the only new item the company is currently test marketing, according to the spokesperson, who declined to name the other products. “The food marketplace is very competitive,” she said. “Every company is trying to find something new that the consumer wants.”

The spokesperson emphasized the Three Bold Brothers product is “a test, not a launch. We’ll know if it’s successful in six months,” she added. “If it is, then we’ll launch the product and there will be a reason to tell the public more about it.”

Testing new consumer products before they are officially launched is a tried and true practice in retail and Fresno has traditionally been a very popular test market for a number of companies.

“Every CPG (consumer products goods) [company] goes through tests,” said the Ruiz spokesperson. “It’s what CPG’s do. Kellogg’s does it. General Mills does it. Everybody does it.”

The Ruiz spokesperson would not disclose what markets beside Fresno the company is testing Three Bold Brothers burrito but a new website created for the brand said the product is widely available throughout the western and Midwestern U.S.

Founded in 1964 by Louis Ruiz and his son Fred, Ruiz Foods has grown to become the country’s leading manufacturer of frozen Mexican food and today employs more than 3,100 at its El Monterey- and Tornado-brands manufacturing facilities in Dinuba and Tulare as well as Texas and South Carolina.

Independent Nielsen statistics show Ruiz’s El Monterey line is the No. 1 frozen Mexican brand in the U.S.

“We think we’ve made the best frozen burrito ever,” the company states on the new Three Bold Brothers website.

“Our story began with exploring three generations of knowledge for making the best Mexican food. Today, we still use the very best, high-quality ingredients out there…juicy grilled steak, perfectly seasoned cilantro-lime rice, whole black beans and real Monterey Jack cheese…and then we hand-wrap them in a soft, fresh-baked, pressed flour tortilla.”

“We’ll never compromise on quality. Ever. Because that’s what bold brothers do — and that’s what our family has always done,” the new marketing campaign states.

A Facebook page set up for the new product has 28 likes early Wednesday morning.

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