Cereales Andinos / Celifood

Quito | 2015 January | Food industry

full timebiz devproductexports

Product Development and Brand Management for a healthy foods factory

Before After


Esteban handled a brand redesign, product development and launch of family of products based on Quinoa, with a 20 SKUs including the prepararion and design of FDA compliant packaging for exports.

1. Research and strategy

Esteban researched market trends which led to an initial hypothesis that in comparison to gluten-free products based on rice, quinoa offered a clear differentiation due to a higher protein content.

The strategy was expanded by interviewing industry experts, including ProEcuador diplomats, networking with startups, attending local and international trade events and meeting with target user groups to validate and adjust the hypothesis.

2. Product Design

Existing products were organized under a family that allowed positioning as a gluten-free and healthy alternative.

  • Quinoa Facil for flours, flakes, soups since they required extra steps in cooking before serving.
  • Quinoa Crunch later turned to Quinoa Munch for breakfast cereals
  • Quinola Quinoa Granola was kept with the old packaging until it would become gluten-free


Esteban designed a new brand, packaging and company culture.

The brand was initially designed as Celifood but renamed locally as Cereales Andinos. The brand concept was: "modern and raw" in direct contrast to highly illustrated and artificial imagery found the the category.

By collaborating in a photoshoot with Almeria-based photographer Marcelo Mausse to develop a style that showed ingredients in it's natural form, the packaging allowed a contrats with a bright magenta to stand out in the shelves.

The innovation focus implemented in the company also meant that anything that was needed could be designed: from promotional materials to sale sheets and product specs were all prepared and improved after key meetings and events.


The focus on special dietary needs required improvements in all production processes. Working along with a Production Manager and Quality Manager we prepared a plan that would lead to iterating updates on products as well as implementing HACCP, NonGMO and Gluten Free certifications.


Esteban worked alongside the production team and oversaw versioning and development of the products to align them to the strategy, all product iterations were tested locally and some prototypes taken to international fairs for validation from business partners.

v1 of the Quinoa Crunch had problems with inconsistent quality, used milk as part of their ingredients not vegan, had a short shelf life ~6 months.

The v2 solved all the shortcomings of the original product, increasing its shelf life to 1 year a soft requirement for exports, improving its quality, taste and nutrional tables.

The v3 was prepared to move towards organic ingredients and a higher nutrional value by increasing the quantity of quinoa. The result was test driven in the SIAL Fair in Paris and SIAL Fair in Toronto.

3. Launch

The change in packaging and style caught the attention of the retailers and target audience allowing the product to grow rapidly in shelf space.

Locally top of mind was created through sponsoring sporting events, participating in the startup scene and through key placements in country clubs.

Online the product quickly gained followers in the healthy living and gluten free communities growing in all social media and leading to radio and television interviews.

Cereales Andinos became the locally produced healthier alternative for breakfast that challenged imports from Kellogs and Nestlé, gaining equivalent shelf space in the main retailers Supermaxi, Mi Comisariato, TIA among many others.

The growing prescence caught the attention of exporters interested in taking the product overseas. To promote the product we attended international fairs and eventually we exported to Chile, USA, South Africa, Lebanon, and Panama.