Goya Foods: We've built the capacity to double our volumes with the same infrastructure
By Elaine Watson
- Last updated on
Between 2000 to 2010, the Hispanic population in the U.S grew 43%, four times faster than the general rate of population growth. And in the next 40 years, it is set to surge by 167%, ahead of the Asian population (+142%), the African American population (+56%) and Caucasians and non-Hispanics (+1%).
And one company poised to cash in is Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the U.S, which generates annual revenues topping $1bn and supplies 2,400 SKUs to (primarily) retail customers nationwide, from rice and low-sodium beans, olives, capers and pimentos, to olive oil, quinoa and coconut water. (10 years ago, it handled around 1,100 SKUs.)
Founded in 1936 and based in Secaucus, NJ since 1974, Goya has manufacturing facilities in New Jersey, Texas, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Spain; and 12 US distribution centers (some of which also manufacture products), handling “authentic” Latino products from the Caribbean, Mexico, Spain, Central and South America. It also operates a sizeable direct store delivery (DSD) operation giving the firm direct access to “the smallest bodegas in the Bronx to Walmart”.
And it’s growing fast, pumping a cool $250m into the business this year, $127m of which is being spent on a monster new HQ and regional distribution center in Jersey City at a 40-acre site in the Meadowlands.
The Secaucus site, meanwhile, is also getting a serious cash injection, with a new 240,000 sq ft manufacturing facility (transferring from a 70,000 sq ft facility in Long Island, NY) housing a new rice packaging line six times as fast as its existing lines plus dry beans and flour packing capabilities, while the firm has also poured significant investment into new facilities in Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; and Atlanta, GA (click HERE for details).
The influx of the Hispanic population is key to our growth. But we consider our customer base to be the entire US
So what’s giving the company the confidence to spend this much money?
“The influx of the Hispanic population is key, and having authentic products has been key to our growth” said VP sales Luis Tejada (pictured above at the new HQ). “But we consider our customer base to be the entire US.”
From a product perspective, many of the products that the firm has had in its portfolio for some time have recently become ‘hot’ sellers owing to their nutritional credentials, from beans to coconut water, he added. “Coconut water is massive now, but we’ve been selling it for years.”
It’s also working closely with retail customers to ensure product selections and promotional plans are tailored more closely to local demand, he said. “The consumer that eats Mexican products here in New Jersey vs in Texas is very different. It’s a regional and a generational thing.”
Certain regions are also growing especially fast, notably Texas, said EVP Peter Unanue. “Texas is just exploding for us. But we’re investing in every location. We now have the capacity to double our volumes with the same infrastructure.”