Trend-watching — inside-out

Although the U.S. Hispanic population’s purchasing power and food preferences are influencing eating trends among non-Hispanics, it’s worth taking a look at the inverse of influence, as well.

“I’ve always believed that in Puerto Rico, trends are usually four to five years behind the U.S.,” Mr. Somoza said.

During the past decade, health and wellness has gained momentum in the U.S. That trend is now making its way to the island, particularly its multigrain, all-natural and non-G.M.O. angles, Mr. Somoza said.

Pan Pepin recently took a leap of faith and launched new products along these lines.

“These new products are exceeding our expectations,” Mr. Somoza said. “They’re expensive products — the most expensive fresh bread on the market is one of our all-natural products."

Although it’s pricey for consumers, it has outpaced any projections the company had for it.

“I think that’s the influence of health and wellness eating habits in the U.S. that are now affecting us locally in Puerto Rico.”