LOS ANGELES — The Latino Food Industry Association (L.F.I.A.) announced its official launch to serve its members and educate the public and policy makers on the contributions and significant impact made buy Latino-owned food businesses on the U.S. economy.
|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 L.F.I.A. to maximize our position in the industry,” said Ruben Smith, L.F.I.A. board chair. “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 L.F.I.A.’s stated purpose is to promote, support, educate and advocate for Latino owners, employees and entrepreneurs involved in the U.S. food industry. An estimated 54 million Latino men and women represent 17% of the U.S. 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, L.F.I.A. board member. “The L.F.I.A. aims to provide member services, including advocacy training, compliance workshops, legislative updates, operational trainings, technology and marketing and branding improvements, among others.”
The L.F.I.A. already has started gaining membership through its partnership with the Neighborhood Market Association, which has a network of members from more than 100 grocery stores and 1,200 convenient stores. Other founding members include Northgate Gonzalez and Vallarta Supermarkets and initial corporate sponsors include The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, and PepsiCo, Purchase, N.Y.