Cordialsa USA’s 20th Anniversary: Ambitious Goals to Secure its Future  

Cordialsa USA is celebrating its 20th anniversary as a distributor of leading Hispanic food brands in the United States. It has been two decades of growth thanks to the vision of the company’s team, which has positioned its product portfolio in different regions of the country.

Cordialsa USA knows that the U.S. Hispanic market and its purchasing power are improving daily. For this reason, they have set an ambitious goal in their strategic development plan. 

Luis Arango, Managing Director of Cordialsa USA, talked to Abasto about the company and how they are preparing to continue growing.

Abasto Magazine: This year, Cordialsa USA celebrates its twentieth anniversary. How did it start?

Luis Arango, Managing Director of Cordialsa USA.

Luis Arango: Cordialsa USA began operations in 2004 in California, intending to distribute some of the Grupo Nutresa brands in the Hispanic market in the United States. Subsequently, in 2007, the main headquarters moved to Houston.

Cordialsa USA has grown rapidly in recent years. As a product of this year’s strategic planning exercise, the company has set a new and ambitious goal: to grow seven times by 2030, the sales achieved in 2020.

We continue to see immense potential in the U.S. Hispanic market. We are confident that it will continue to grow, and we want to participate actively and participate in it.

RA: We understand that Cordialsa USA operates in other countries; where else does the company have a presence?

LA: Cordialsa USA is part of Grupo Nutresa, a leader in processed foods in Colombia – with 50.2% of consolidated market share – and one of the most relevant players in the sector in Latin America through eight business units: Meat, Biscuits, Chocolates, Coffees, Tresmontes Lucchetti (TMLUC), Consumer Foods, Ice Cream, Pasta, and Others.

With over 100 years of existence and more than 49,000 employees, Grupo Nutresa is a diversified company in geography, products, and supply, with a direct presence in 18 countries and international sales of US$1,783 million in 82 countries.

Mapa Cordialsa-USA

RA: With what products did the company become known in the market?

LA: Cordialsa USA began its operations with leading brands with a long tradition in their respective countries of origin. Today, our portfolio consists of more than 40 brands, some from Nutresa and others from third parties that have entrusted the development of their business in our hands.

RA: How has Cordialsa USA evolved since its beginnings?

LA: At Cordialsa USA, we have declared that our vision is to develop a robust and efficient distribution network with the best multicultural product offerings. Over the last eight years, we have increased our sales by a factor of 12 and our staff by a factor of 18.

We have five regional sales offices, nine distribution centers for dry and frozen products, and our own DSD distribution, serving most of the East Coast of the United States. In addition, we created a special B2B business division to serve different industries.

RA: What is the company’s scope regarding categories and brands?

LA: We currently have a presence in 21 categories through 700 SKUs and expect to incorporate some new ones in the coming months. We also have a trade marketing team implementing over 100 campaigns and generating over 10,000 contact points with the consumer.

Cordialsa USA - grupo de marcas

RA: How has Cordialsa USA adapted to new technologies?

LA: At Cordialsa USA, we have the latest technology tools to interact with our commercial team in real time. These tools allow us, among other things, to collect and store more than 50,000 point-of-sale photographs per month, which will be critical to streamline trade marketing processes and make strategic decisions on time. In addition, we have a solid structure dedicated to boosting online sales.

RA: What has been the most crucial success for Cordialsa USA in its 20 years?

LA: We base our model on our distribution network, our ability to reach the market, our management of brands, and the development of our people. The latter has been vital to the company’s growth, and today, we have leaders with extraordinary professional and human capabilities and a passionate, competitive, and diverse team of collaborators.

RA: What makes Cordialsa USA more and more attractive for retail? 

LA: At Cordialsa USA, we have products close to the tastes and preferences of Hispanic Americans, including Mexicans, Caribbeans, Peruvians, Colombians, Ecuadorians, Venezuelans, and Central Americans, among others.

Related Article: Insights on U.S. Hispanic Shopper Behavior: What You Need to Know

On the other hand, our customers recognize us for our good point-of-sale management, seasonality, additional displays, service level, and logistics. We focus on helping retailers sell more so they reward us with loyalty and support.

RA: What projects will occupy the company’s attention in the future?

LA: At Cordialsa USA, we have outlined a plan that contemplates growing our distribution capabilities, incorporating new categories, strengthening our relationship with our partners, and developing our people.

Recently, we took over the direct distribution of the Dux, Saltín, Ducales, and Festival brands on the East Coast. These brands have been present for many years in the U.S. market. They are emblematic of Latin American consumers, who have had them in their homes for years thanks to their quality, tradition, and leadership in their countries of origin. 

They are brands with the backing of a well-known manufacturer and have been in the market for more than 100 years.

RA: There is no doubt about the importance of the Dux, Ducales, Saltín, and Festival brands in the U.S. Hispanic cookie market. How has retail received the news?

LA: Thanks to the support of our customers and the commitment of our commercial team, we have achieved significant sales growth in these territories while at the same time achieving a clear improvement in the visibility of our brands in stores and a substantial expansion of references in our portfolio.