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Latino food trade group forms

Association to promote impact for public, policymakers

A group of food industry participants including leading Hispanic supermarket chains Northgate Gonzalez and Vallarta Supermarkets have announced the formation of the Latino Food Industry Association, a trade group that will represent the interests of Hispanic food sellers and purveyors, and promote their impact on the national economy.

"Given the Hispanic market's $1.5 trillion in annual buying power and the rapid growth of Hispanic-owned businesses in the food and beverage segment, many of our members felt it was time to launch the Latino Food Industry Association to maximize our position in the industry," Ruben Smith (left), LFIA board chair said in a statement. "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."

LFIA, based in San Diego and San Francisco, has gained significant membership through a partnership with the Neighborhood Market Association, which has a network of members ranging from more than 100 grocery stores and 1,200 convenience stores, as well as an extensive list of suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, growers, corporations and individuals. Initial corporate sponsors include Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

The LFIA was established to promote, support, educate and advocate for the thousands of Latino owners, employees and entrepreneurs who are involved in every aspect of the country's rapidly growing food industry.

Hispanics have become the most important demographic growth driver in the food, beverage and restaurant sector, the LFIA said, now representing 17% of the U.S. population, and $1 trillion in buying power. Moreover, their adherence to dining traditions is also influencing national consumption patterns, including fresh and from-scratch cooking and stove-top preparation, and bold flavors.



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