In 2012 the GPS Imports company was established in Houston, Texas to start the business of imports and distribution of Mexican food and beverage products in the United States.
They became one of the authorized importers and distributors of Boing! fruit beverages. The company managed to be the leader in the market only in a few years until the sudden appearance of the coronavirus forced them to adapt to the new reality of doing business.
About Boing! and GPS Imports
In an interview with Abasto Magazine, Arturo Pérez, National Sales Director for GPS Imports, spoke about the company and its Boing! products that they proudly distribute, as well as the challenges they are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Boing! fruit juice brand, produced by the Sociedad Cooperativa de Trabajadores de Pascual, S.C.L., in Mexico is the main client of GPS Imports, which with an aggressive sales strategy positioned the brand in-store shelves.
“With the desire to continue expanding the brand, we developed new sales strategies such as promotions and production of new flavors of its fruit juices,” said Pérez.
The fruit drinks are made with 100% natural, pasteurized and non-carbonated ingredients. GPS Imports distributes the drinks in seven different flavors in 12-ounce glass bottles, as well as in a liter-sized family pack in the same seven flavors and the six-pack for the kids.
In addition to Boing! GPS Imports also imports and distributes a variety of products, including “Dulces o Travesuras”, a brand of candy that offers not only traditional candies and lollipops, but products with attractive designs and flavors that children love. They also market products for the foodservice industry in addition to the introduction of new brands to the U.S.
The successful work that GPS Imports had been doing over the past few years underwent a dramatic change during the first six months of 2020. As it happened to the vast majority of companies, the coronavirus pandemic took them by surprise affecting their business, forcing them to adapt to a new reality full of uncertainty.
“While we know that the food industry has to continue to operate in the midst of the pandemic, unfortunately, consumer buying habits have changed,” said Pérez.
Suddenly, products like toilet paper, Clorox, and hand sanitizer became essential items. Pérez explained that “in the case of food, people focused on buying rice, beans, canned goods, and water, before stocks ran out, but unfortunately in the midst of these panic purchases some companies like ours were affected because, for example, our drinks are not on the list of basic necessities.”
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The closure of restaurants across the country during the first phase of the pandemic to maintain social distancing and avoid contagion was also a severe blow to GPS Imports.
According to Pérez, 60% of his company’s sales are directed to this sector of the foodservice industry, and with the closing of these businesses, they lost the majority of their clients.
Pérez describes the coronavirus pandemic as the “perfect storm” but he hopes that soon the situation will improve so that the supply chain stabilizes and sales take off again.
“I believe that we all have to be prepared for changes that we do not expect; we always have to be ready with a plan B to adapt and not be left out of the market. We have to innovate to get ahead,” said Pérez.
Keeping hope and looking ahead, Perez said that “we are now in talks with a coffee company in Mexico to bring a Gourmet Mexican coffee to the U.S. and we are also working on other projects to import new products.”