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Nagual celebrates 20 years in growing tortilla market

Nagual celebrated its 20th anniversary working to bring European consumers closer to the gastronomic culture of tortillas for tacos, nachos, quesadillas, fajitas and other native dishes of Mesoamerica. The anniversary coincides with the best year in the history of the company in terms of results, with an expected turnover of EUR 3 million this year, which is 23% more than in 2022.

The company commemorated the anniversary in in Barcelona, with more than 150 people in attendance – including employees, clients, suppliers and authorities. Among the guests was Xavier Pujol, president of PIMEC Vallès Occidental, an organization that in 2013 recognized Nagual as the most competitive microenterprise.

The development of the company, which began in 2003 in a 100 sqm garage and now occupies two warehouses of 1,000 and 400 sqm in Barberà del Vallès, is also the reflection of a change in eating habits, the company says: “If two decades ago the consumption of corn tortillas in our country was limited to Mexican cuisine, this food soon became a reference ingredient for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Little by little, it began to occupy the central aisles of supermarkets, next to bread.”

In this sense, Àngels Secanella, CEO and co-founder of Nagual together with Ramón Andara, considers that the acquisition of certifications, from the IFS to the FSC 22000 quality standard or the Espiga Barrada Registered Brand (ELS), has marked the expansion of the company. “We were the first corn tortilla with a presence in supermarkets thanks to distinguishing our products by not having gluten,” she recalls.

Another determining factor to its success has been the effort of its R&D department to fulfill one of the company’s founding bases: adapting corn tortillas to the European palate. “The European consumer was accustomed to wheat tortillas, which are more flexible when cold. Therefore, we create formulas to give more moisture to the tortilla, give it more flexibility, enhance its flavor with a pinch of salt and reduce the use of preservatives to a minimum in order to preserve an unmistakable flavor,” says Ramón Andara, head of production at Nagual. Another of the R&D department’s achievements was extending the useful life of the tortilla packages, which can be stored for up to eight months at room temperature.

The company exports corn tortillas to countries such as France, Italy, Sweden, Ireland, Israel and Dubai. International sales already represent 20% of turnover and are one of the main reasons why the daily production of tortillas has increased to 120,000 on average. The increase in international demand, as well as in restaurants and shops, has prompted Tortillas Nagual to invest EUR 250,000 to incorporate a third production line, including a new thermoforming machine to increase packaging capacity.

One of the products that will come out of this new production line will be gluten-free wraps measuring 20 centimeters in diameter that the company will launch in early 2024 to cover a segment until now essentially dominated by wheat tortillas.

Nagual is a Barcelona making Mexican tortillas with nixtamalized and non-transgenic corn. In its catalog of specialties, it has white, yellow and blue corn tortillas (the latter specifically for foodservice), whole wheat tortilla and organic tortilla, all of them gluten-free. It also offers a range of specific products to have fun cooking and eating fajitas, tacos and wraps.

The comany was founded by Àngels Secanella and Ramón Andara.

Photo: Nagual