Group for Hispanic-Owned Grocery Vendors Gets Off Ground

The Latino Food Industry Association comes at a time when the U.S. Hispanic population’s buying power is particularly strong and grocery stores targeting that market are becoming increasingly prominent.

A new trade group targeting Hispanic-owned food and beverage companies may be new, but the market segment it represents very much isn’t.

The Latino Food Industry Association, which officially launched last week, represents 17 percent of the U.S population and  a segment with $1.5 trillion in buying power. Ruben Smith, LFIA’s board chair, noted that the association came about because vendors in the segment saw an opportunity to maximize their position in the industry.

“Our members include grocery chains, independent grocers, restaurateurs, food and beverage manufacturers and distributors, growers, and several national brands who see a unique opportunity to boost market share as Hispanic food grows in popularity,” Smith said in a news release.

LFIA also comes at a time when Hispanic markets are growing in popularity even among non-Hispanic consumers and are estimated to draw $21 billion in sales by 2020, according to a recent report by Packaged Facts. Food Dive notes that Hispanic grocery stores have proved particularly successful in California, where chains like Northgate González and Cardenas Markets have opened up large facilities with full-service offerings. (Northgate González is one of the founding members of the new group.)

The new association, which is being sponsored by Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, will partner with the Neighborhood Market Association to build out its early membership rolls both with stores and individuals.

LFIA board member David Lizarraga noted that LFIA will offer a variety of training opportunities related to advocacy, compliance, and operations. The group will also work with its members on technology, marketing, and branding issues.

“To stay competitive in the burgeoning marketplace, we believe our members need be equipped with the necessary tools to compete and flourish in the food industry,” Lizarraga explained in a news release.

(andresr/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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