America’s largest Hispanic-owned food company wants its products, which sell in the millions in the United States, to reach many other markets worldwide. They are determined that many other cultures around the globe will recognize the Goya Foods brand and its authentic Latin flavor.
Thus, the family-owned company is celebrating its 85th anniversary by focusing on its expansion plans in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Moreover, this vision of growth, of exploring new markets with authentic Hispanic products of the highest quality, has always gone hand in hand with Goya’s generous philanthropic spirit that has provided countless contributions to communities in need.
Joe Perez, Senior Vice President of Goya Foods, gave an overview of the company’s plans in an interview with Abasto:
Abasto Magazine: How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the demand for Goya products in the last year, and what did you do to adapt to the “new normal”?
Joe Perez: We worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without a break to help the supply chain and keep the stores and the community supplied with the food they needed for their livelihood. We had a huge commitment to providing Goya products to all of our customers, so we expanded our logistics network to not only make the necessary deliveries but, just as importantly, to continue to receive raw materials and finished products from our factories. It was not easy, but we have the satisfaction that we gave more than one hundred percent to meet the demand during that difficult period.
RA: After three years of operations in Mexico, what have been the results?
JP: The results in Mexico have been favorable. Naturally, the COVID impacted many of the initiatives planned for 2020 and 2021. Still, we expect that we will be even more active in the Mexican market when everything calms down.
RA: Alejandro De La Hoz was appointed Director of International Business Development in 2019. How has this appointment helped Goya set its course for expansion internationally?
JP: Definitely, Alejandro De La Hoz, based on his experience and knowledge worldwide, has been essential in conquering new markets. Right now, we are working on developing our products in Guatemala and other countries in Central and South America. In addition, Alejandro will be supporting the new growth strategies in the Mexican market.
RA: How is Goya progressing in the European and Asian markets?
JP: In Europe, through our offices in Spain, we are attending to the needs of the Latin American community in that country while we continue to expand throughout the rest of Europe, reaching Italy, Portugal, Germany, etc. We also introduce the rich Latin American cuisine to Europeans, who are always looking for new flavors. In Asia, we are having success today with our olive oils and olives.
RA: Where do Goya’s production plants operate?
JP: Goya has factories in different regions of the U.S. and the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Spain.
RA: What challenges has the company faced in making inroads in its different markets?
JP: In its 85 years, Goya has been characterized by learning and continues to learn from the different cultures in the U.S. market, where there are communities from all over the world. Through its portfolio of more than 2,600 products, it offers the authentic flavors that consumers are looking for.
RA: Through the social initiatives Goya Gives and Goya Cares, you have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the community you serve. Do you also have plans to do social work with the communities your products reach in your global expansion?
JP: The tremendous social commitment is in our blood. Wherever we go, we carry that desire with us, always at the service of the community. Through Goya Gives and Goya Cares, we have been helping different institutions with food donations for many years; we also support cultural and social initiatives that help people in need.