Latina PR and Social Media Leader Serves Up a New Food Division, TU COCINA, with 6 top Hispanic celebrity chefs and food-based influencers
Her advice to content creators: “Don’t accept a sponsor’s first offer. If they noticed you, it’s because they know your value.”
For food brands seeking to reach Hispanics on social media, their menu of content creator sponsorship opportunities grew wider with last month’s launch of TU COCINA, a new division from Miami-based content marketing agency Talento Unlimited.
TU COCINA’s six celebrity chefs and food-based content creators collectively reach over 3.7 Million national and global viewers on Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and YouTube.
With combined content views exceeding 70 million, Talento’s kitchen — and content — magicians are:
- Real Housewives of Miami star and founder of Skinny Latina Ana Quincoces
- CHOPPED and Supermarket Stakeout alum Chef Ronaldo Linares
- MasterChef Latino alum Chef Ingrid Pereyra
- Author and healthy recipe content creator Lilibeth Ramirez of Recetas Lily
- At-home food & fitness content creator Vero Castagno of Vero Sweet Hobby
- Nationally recognized Latino food trends expert and recipe developer Cari Garcia of FatGirlHedonist
We reached out to Talento Unlimited’s Cristy Clavijo-Kish, co-founder of the Latina-owned and operated boutique agency, for her insights on her new division and the industry at large.
Launching marketing companies isn’t new for Clavijo-Kish. After starting her career in PR at firms such as Porter Novelli, the dynamic Cuban-American leader co-founded several innovative Hispanic PR and social media companies including Hispanic PR Wire, LatinClips, Latina Mom Bloggers (later rebranded as DiMe Media), the digital magazine Los Teens and Tweens, and our parent company, Noticias Newswire.
In our first interview of the year, Clavijo-Kish also shares her advice for aspiring content creators, established influencers considering working with a talent agency like Talento, and even some wisdom for fledgling entrepreneurs.
Why did you create a separate food division within Talento Unlimited?
With the food market expected to drive four percent of its revenue through online sales, collaborating with multicultural, food-based content creators is more essential than ever for brands looking to increase sales and brand affinity in 2023.
Our cultures are connected through comida. And on every social media platform, there is an incredible collection of recipes, restaurant reviews, and ideas being shared from all walks of life, especially from Latin American and Caribbean countries. Latino food customs are naturally adopted across different avenues because everyone wants a little sazón in their kitchen! Our roster of talent ranges from professionally trained chefs, to meal prep experts, to recipe developers, and chefpreneurs!
Did you execute any holiday campaigns last month?
Of course! Holidays are all about la comida y famila. Our Miami-based creator Cari Garcia of FatGirlHedonist worked with Moose Tracks ice cream brand on how to create decadent holiday milkshakes and do an exciting giveaway! And our LA-based creator Vero Castagno of @Verosweethobby took time away from the World Cup Final (which her beloved Argentina took!) to work on a fun & easy family recipe campaign with Pillsbury. Check out the videos on their channels.
Stay connected to the culture. You can share the latest trends and viral content…but the best content comes from your personal experience in the kitchen with Mami, Abuela, or Abuelo — or even your own self-taught recipes.” — Cristy Clavijo-Kish
Do you expect CPG and food brands to increase their spending in 2023?
Absolutely! In 2022 the US food market is estimated to have 2022 revenue of more than $964 billion with an expected growth rate of 4.8 percent and the U.S. packaged food market size is valued at more than $1 trillion. People are excited and enticed by the recipes and food prep ideas they see every day on their timelines.
Are you able to sell packages whereby all six influencers work on the same campaign?
We can by way of collaborations and they’re often great together. We haven’t had an opportunity where we feature all six simultaneously!
Will you be creating similar divisions for your other verticals?
We’re certainly looking at new and exciting launches for 2023 and beyond. It’s important to build while we’re being mindful of profitability so timing will be crucial.
What advice would you give to Hispanics who are considering becoming food-based content creators?
Stay connected to the culture. You can share the latest trends and viral content you see on the algorithm (that’s fun!), but the best content comes from your personal experience in the kitchen with Mami, Abuela, or Abuelo — like in my case — or even your own self-taught recipes. Once you identify what your audience connects with from food to certain sounds or music, think about how your content will continue resonating while remaining true to your voice.
It’s no secret that brands want to feature their stories on highly curated creator channels, but still want to pay less than deserved. Trust us when we say if they noticed you, it’s because they know your value.” — Cristy Clavijo-Kish
What advice would you give to food influencers who want to be represented by an agency like Talento?
Ensure your content and channel engagement are strong enough that brands already are reaching out to you directly. Our job is helping creators to not just accept a first offer! It’s no secret that brands want to feature their stories on highly curated creator channels, but still want to pay less than deserved. Trust us when we say if they noticed you, it’s because they know your value. It’s better to have an independent voice like Talento to do the negotiating and advocating for you so you can focus on your craft. All that said, ensuring that you and the talent agency or manager have a strong partnership rooted in mutual trust is crucial for success on both ends.
What are some of the challenges that Hispanic food influencers have when starting or growing their platforms?
Because of the passion everyone has for their food and culture, I think a challenge is being accused by followers of making recipes “not the way my mom makes it”… yet everyone has their own “estilo” of making a homemade soup, arroz con pollo, or even steak. And because Latino cuisine has become so popular, food influencers are also in the position to call out when a recipe is being appropriated. One example is a café Cubano recipe that went viral when it was done incorrectly (according to viewers) and had millions of views. Many Latinos tagged their favorite food influencers – like our @FatGirlHedonist Cari Garcia – to show the non-Latino creator how it’s truly done.
You’ve co-launched a lot of successful businesses over the last 20 years. What drives you as an entrepreneur and what advice would you give to aspiring Hispanic entrepreneurs?
At this point in my career, I would say to partner with people you can truly trust and be at ease with because you’ll be spending countless hours together and making difficult decisions. It is crucial to have savings of at least 8 – 12 months ready to sustain your lifestyle. Be mentally prepared for a rollercoaster and try to have patience on the journey. It’s not an overnight trip!