Beech-Nut, Goya Co-Brand Baby Food to Woo US Hispanics

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Goya and Beech-Nut are hoping that a partnership will yield big results from the confluence of three trends: the growing Hispanic population in the US, the proliferation of food products aimed specifically at that demographic, and the rising interest of mainstream global CPG companies in exploiting the other two trends.

The two companies are expanding the availability of a co-branded line of baby food, called Beech-Nut Goya, that launched in April. The baby-food range is being promoted as “Authentic Hispanic flavors made especially for your baby” as it rolls out to stores across America, according to Ad Age. With Hispanics now accounting for one-fourth of all US births as the fertility rates and birth numbers of other major American demographic groups wane, the co-branded line makes sense for both brands.

The baby-food market has been getting a lot of attention lately from non-traditional but major CPG players, including Campbell Soup, which just bought Plum Organics and its baby- and toddler-food lines, and Groupe Danone, the Paris-based maker of yogurt, which at about the same time bought Happy Family, another organic-baby-food startup.[more]

And just as Campbell and Danone wanted to tap the expertise of the smaller brands in the better-for-you-baby-food segment, Beech-Nut is eager to harness Goya’s command of the fast-growing Hispanic-specialty food market in the US. Family-owned Goya once distributed only basic products such as beans but increasingly is moving into prepared foods and soon will introduce its first frozen prepared meals, the magazine said.

In fact, the $1-billion company also is broadening by pitching its products to non-Hispanics with whom Goya has been making inroads over the last year or two. “The two markets are at different stages in terms of affinity for the brand, and awareness and attachment to the brand,” Alvaro Serrano, Goya’s senior marketing manager, told Ad Age. “With non-Hispanics, our primary focus has been to drive trial.”

In the case of Beech-Nut Goya baby food, it’ll be largely up to Beech-Nut to drive sales because it’s in charge of marketing. The line will be found in the baby-food section even though some chains prefer to keep all Goya-branded items together.

That shouldn’t be too big an obstacle for the new sub-brand to overcome. At this point, Beech-Nut Goya will be the only major brand with a specific focus on the fast-growing ranks of Hispanic babies. And like any new brand, it has to learn to walk before it runs.

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