In Mérida, Yucatán, Mrs. Ana Sosa de Méndez began 105 years ago what today is an incredible tradition of flavor, thanks to its sauces and seasonings. Thus, La Anita products conquered the Mexican territory and now, in its expansion strategy and with more than a century of experience, they began their plan to conquer the market in the United States.
With this plan, La Anita created its USA Division at the end of 2015 and began operations in early 2016.
In an exclusive interview with Abasto Magazine, licensed Jorge Charruf Cáceres, Director of International Sales of La Anita, a company that forms a part of the La Anita Group, analyzes how the first year of operations for the new products went in the US, which new products are being launched to offer the best sauces and seasonings to consumers in the United States and the plans they have to keep growing.
Abasto Magazine: How long ago did distribution begin in the US and how is this expansion process going?
Licensed Jorge Charruf Cáceres: The acceptance of our products has been even better than what we hoped for, since we bring innovations such as our Mild Habanero Sauce to the market, unique in the market. In Achiote, we are also the leaders in Mexico and on our way to being so in the United States.
AM: What is La Anita’s star product and how has its acceptance been in the U.S. market?
JCC: The United States market has received our products with great enthusiasm. To facilitate the sale, we offered a variety of “Shippers” specially designed for the conditions of the North American market and that have had great acceptance in our new commercial partners.
Our key products are our red and green Habanero sauces, as well as our Achiote in Pasta and Liquid, backed by more than 100 years of experience.
AM: Has it been easy for La Anita to make its way into the market of major supermarket chains in the U.S.?
JCC: It was hard at first, since the chains natural focus on well-known brands. But our quality and range of products convinced them, they gave us the opportunity and we took advantage of that with good prices, good service and an extraordinary flavor.
AM: What are the new products that La Anita is launching under their growth strategy?
JCC: Our strategy is 100% based on the consumer. We want to have the ideal product for every moment in which the consumer wants to add flavor, aroma, spice and color to their food. That’s why we introduced the Botana Sauce, the Chamoy Sauce and the Powdered Sauce. They are 3 new products, but totally aligned with consumer habits.
AM: Does La Anita intend to focus only on the market of Mexican origin consumers living in the U.S.?
JCC: We believe that our products will generate preference in all the different Latino groups in the first instance; and later, even on members of other ethnic groups who are looking for flavor and quality at a fair price. In fact, three of our habanero sauces, original green and red and light, are Kosher certified, as well as the Achiote.
AM: What is a challenge for the Achiote in the U.S. market?
JCC: The Achiote is closely related to the cochinita pibil (pork dish) among the Latino public, especially the Mexican one. But it is an extremely versatile ingredient that brings flavor and color to all kinds of meats, soups and rice dishes. We want to position it as the spicy Mexican condiment par excellence.
AM: Are there more products that La Anita is planning to introduce to the market?
JCC: At the moment we believe that we have a great challenge expanding the distribution of Habanera Sauces, Botana, Chamoy, Powder and Achiote; they will be our main focus. The United States market is the largest market in the world and I believe that this is a great opportunity for La Anita to take advantage of its century of experience to conquer it and show the world the great quality of its Mexican products from Yucatan.