LFIA Launches to Support Latinos in Food Industry
The Latino Food Industry Association has officially launched to promote, support, educate and advocate for the thousands of Latino owners, employees and entrepreneurs within the nation’s food industry. The organization will serve its members and educate the public and policymakers on the contributions and impact that Latino-owed food businesses and purveyors have on the 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," says Ruben Smith, LFIA board chair. "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."
Hispanics now spend at a higher rate on groceries and are shopping perishables more frequently that other consumer groups, according a recent report by Dr. David Hayes Bautista. With an estimated 54 million Latino men and women representing 17 percent of the U.S. population, with buying power well over $1 trillion, Hispanics have become a key demographic growth driver in the food, beverage and restaurant sectors.
"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," said LFIA board member David Lizarraga. "The Latino Food Industry Association aims to provide member services including advocacy training, compliance workshops, legislative updates, operational trainings, technology and marketing and branding improvements, among others."
LFIA has gained significant membership through its partnership with the Neighborhood Market Association, which has a network of members ranging from more than a hundred grocery stores and 1,200 convenience stores, as well as an extensive list of suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, growers, corporations and individuals. Other key founding members include two California grocery chains, Northgate González and Vallarta Supermarkets. Initial corporate sponsors include Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.