|Ruben Smith, LFIA board chair|
“Given the Hispanic market’s $1.5 trillion in annual buying power and the rapid growth of Hispanic-owned businesses in the food and beverage segment, many of our members felt it was time to launch the LFIA to maximize our position in the industry,” said Ruben Smith, LFIA chairman. “Our members include grocery chains, independent grocers, restaurateurs, food and beverage manufacturers and distributors, growers and several national brands who see a unique opportunity to boost market share as Hispanic food grows in popularity.”
The LFIA’s stated purpose is to promote, support, educate and advocate for Latino owners, employees and entrepreneurs involved in the US food industry. An estimated 54 million Latinos represent 17 percent of the US population, according to the association, and that number is growing annually.
|David Lizarraga, LFIA board member|
“To stay competitive in the burgeoning marketplace, we believe our members need be equipped with the necessary tools to compete and flourish in the food industry,” said David C. Lizarraga, LFIA board member. “The LFIA aims to provide member services, including advocacy training, compliance workshops, legislative updates, operational trainings, technology and marketing and branding improvements, among others.”
The LFIA already has started a membership campaign through its partnership with the Neighborhood Market Association, which has a network of members from more than 100 grocery stores and 1,200 convenience stores. Other founding members include Northgate Gonzalez and Vallarta Supermarkets and initial corporate sponsors include The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, and PepsiCo, Purchase, New York.