SOMOS Unveils Abuela AI: Pioneering Novel AI & AR Initiatives in the CPG Industry

The Mexican-led food brand combines food, heart, and tech innovation to deliver personalized recipes, cooking tips, and real wisdom from your very own “Abuela Veronica”

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — SOMOS, the vibrant Mexican food brand on a mission to make Mexican cuisine ubiquitous in American home kitchens, introduces Abuela AI, an AI and AR-powered platform modeled after SOMOS co-founder and CEO Miguel Leal’s mother, Veronica Villarreal. The innovation, accessible through abuela.ai, marks a category-first in a consumer-oriented platform, combining AR, deep learning, generative AI, voice cloning, and digital avatar creation to bring to life a digital representation of Abuela Veronica. She is accessible both online and in the Mexican grocery aisle through a QR code on SOMOS’ packaging. By utilizing cutting-edge technology for a fresh consumer experience, SOMOS’ Abuela AI guides you through shopping in the grocery store, cooking in your own kitchen, and even serves as a sounding board for your late night ponderings. 

The decision to model Abuela AI after Miguel’s mother stemmed from both the guidance and inspiration she’s given him and the fond memories of homemade Mexican meals enjoyed around the table during his childhood in Monterrey. These core memories and flavors served as inspiration for launching SOMOS alongside his fellow Mexican-born friends Daniel Lubetzky and Rodrigo Zuloaga. SOMOS’ foray into emerging marketing technology illustrates their focus on merging Mexican heritage, food, and technology to make it easier than ever for consumers to cook real Mexican meals at home. 

Over the past three months, SOMOS developed the multitouch platform –– aptly named Abuela AI –– that extends from mobile to web to the grocery store, all of which serves the purpose of making shopping for and cooking real Mexican meals in minutes easier than ever. Through an intuitive interface and a custom video avatar based on Veronica, users are invited to ask questions about all things Mexican food, cooking, culture, and anything in between –– from what groceries you need to make enchiladas for a crowd and how to make a quick weeknight dinner with the leftover ingredients in your fridge, to hosting and entertaining ideas for your next Cinco de Mayo bash and lessons on Mexican history. Abuela AI converses like Veronica does— with a ton of passion, a dose of humor, cultural competence, and a touch of Spanglish – accomplished through voice recording sessions and behavioral training to ensure that Veronica’s life lessons, stories, and insights are incorporated into the system. An adapted text-only version of SOMOS’ Abuela AI is also integrated with WhatsApp, the platform of choice for abuelas the world over and the way in which Miguel communicates with Veronica. Consumers just need to save Abuela Veronica’s number (512-380-1351) in their WhatsApp contact list for 24/7 real-time tips. From URL to IRL, SOMOS’ Abuela AI will also guide shoppers in the grocery store, utilizing AR to help users find the ingredients, from SOMOS pantry staples like rice, beans, plant-based entrees, chips, salsas, and more, to fresh additions like cilantro and avocado found in the store perimeter, for a delicious Mexican meal. This first-of-its-kind experiential technology underscores SOMOS’ mission to popularize cooking Mexican food –– the #1 most consumed ethnic food in the U.S.–– that is approachable, fast, and fun. 

“At the end of the day but ESPECIALLY in today’s day and age, we all need an Abuela in our back pocket,” says Miguel Leal, Co-Founder and CEO of SOMOS. “In my humble opinion, my mom, Veronica, is the best one my kids, and now, shoppers across the U.S., could ask for. Warm, funny, friendly, full of advice [whether you ask for it or not!], and my go-to for inspiration on how to make a mean Mexican meal in minutes.”

The SOMOS team developed the technology in partnership with Ivonne Kinser, founder of marketing innovation firm Vantage Innovation Lab, whose own memories of cooking and eating with her Venezuelan abuela bring an added layer of sincerity to this launch. The SOMOS and Vantage teams trained Abuela AI to have comprehensive knowledge of Mexican culture and cuisine. The data training encompassed every detail of the brand, from its story to recipes, cooking tips, ingredients, and products. It also included extensive information about Mexican culture and cuisine, as well as family cooking secrets, and anecdotes passed down through generations, all of which came directly from the real Abuela Veronica. Vantage, Miguel, and Veronica worked collaboratively to ensure that the generative AI platform, digital clone, and AR avatar embody Veronica’s voice, mannerisms, and vernacular as an abuela and home cook with a passion for her family, heritage, and Mexican cuisine.

“While no technology can replace the genuine culinary experiences rooted in culture and heritage, SOMOS’ story, mission, and brand essence are so inspiring and magical that they drove me to seek ways to replicate this enchantment for every consumer in every Mexican food aisle. We harnessed the power of marketing technology to achieve this,” says Ivonne Kinser, founder of Vantage Innovation Lab. “I’ve followed Miguel for years, admiring his unwavering dedication to his brand’s consumers and his innovative spirit. The Abuela AI platform truly reflects the heart of his team, and we’re thrilled to have contributed by literally cloning what was already a powerful brand story.”

Starting on October 3rd, customers will be able to access the Abuela AI at abuela.ai, via WhatsApp at 512-380-1351, and through QR codes on all of SOMOS’ product packaging.

About SOMOS Foods
Co-founded by former KIND Snacks executives and Mexican-American friends Daniel Lubetzky, Miguel Leal, and Rodrigo Zuloaga, SOMOS is a Mexican food brand that brings vibrant heritage and delicious flavors to 23 ready-to-eat foods that serve as complete meals, snacks, or foundations to get creative in the kitchen. SOMOS’ lineup of chips, salsa, rice, beans, and veggies are grown and made in Mexico using traditional techniques and clean ingredients, marrying flavor and convenience for real Mexican food that is ready in 90 seconds or less. Designed to bring families and friends together around the table, SOMOS takes the weight of cooking dinner (or lunch! or brunch!) off of your shoulders, so you can focus on what matters most. Learn more at eatsomos.com and follow along @eatsomos.  

SOURCE SOMOS



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