Blending Cultural Lines

Appliance maker promotes dairy-based Latin crossover drink.
First came the margarita. Now one of the leading U.S. appliance manufacturers is hoping Americans will leap on the licuado bandwagon.
The licuado (pronounced lee-KWA-doh) is the latest Latin crossover drink to capture American taste buds. Popular across Mexico and the Spanish-speaking Americas, this milk–and-fruit-based blended beverage has become the “drink del dia” (drink of the day) in California, Texas and other parts of the country.
Leading consumer products giant Sunbeam Products Inc. began promoting Latin Licuados in July with its popular Oster® brand beehive blenders. All Oster Contemporary Classic Combination units — with portable Blend-N-Go™ cups — contain a “Got Licuado?” recipe pack-in CD featuring Oster spokesperson and celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein.
“Although licuados are rooted in Latin culture, they’ve become popular with all groups and ages,” says Lori Gonzalez, marketing director of Oster Global Appliances. “This promotion is one way the Oster brand inspires consumers to be creative and innovative.”
The California Milk Processor Board (CMPB) — which created “Got Licuados?” based on its ubiquitous “got milk?” tagline — predicts this traditional non-alcoholic Mexican beverage will become the next burrito.
“Licuados are making their way out of Hispanic restaurants and into mainstream kitchens, and Oster is leading the way,” says Jeff Manning, CMPB executive director.
“The Oster Blend-N-Go cup and licuados are perfect for a nutritious snack or light meal,” adds Gonzalez. “The possibilities are endless.”
Whether it’s the traditional milk-and-fruit blended drinks or more innovative concoctions using pumpkin pie filling or peanut butter, licuados are said to be limited only by the imagination.
Licuado recipes are available at www.oster.com and www.gotmilk.com.
The Oster licuado promotion is an exclusive partnership with Costco club stores. Licuado demonstrations will take place at 187 stores nationwide during the 2004 peak summer blending season.  df