Here at the Pundit, we’ve dealt with issues related to marketing to Latinos many times, including both here and here. Much marketing to Latinos in the US by the perishable food industry is horrid. The Pundit shudders to think of the number of Mariachi bands and sombreros he has seen at events and promotions — sometimes to Cubans and Puerto Ricans!
WHY THIS COALITION IS ESSENTIAL?
The traditional Latin-American diet offers an incredible array of delicious, healthy foods. Yet Hispanic Americans suffer disproportionately from many food-related health problems, including obesity and diabetes.
Oldways Preservation Trust has now banded together with industry leaders to form the Latino Nutrition Coalition, a new organization dedicated to encouraging Latinos to recapture — or keep — their good health through traditional foods and lifestyles.
WHAT WE ARE DOING?
The Latino Nutrition Coalition will focus on practical programs that Latinos can relate to, and that will have an impact. Working with business leaders, culinary experts and scientists, we are creating national, regional and local programs including:
A supermarket guide as part of our lifestyle program “Camino Màgico”
In-store grocery programs (cooking, shopping, signage)
Health Clinic programs
In-school programs (elementary and secondary)
Restaurant programs (QSR, casual, mid-scale)
Product packaging programs
Target-city programs in 5-6 cities
Community fiestas and festivals
The initial members of this coalition were the Oldways Preservation Trust plus Mission Foods, Unilever and the US Potato Board. Now, new members have joined to create a board of Founding Members:
Co-chair: Tom Gray, Director, Brand Marketing
Co-chair: K. Dun Gifford, JD, President
Oldways Preservation Trust
I. Edward Salinas, CEO
Mike Veal, Director of Marketing
Rafael Toro, Director of Public Relations
Pat Kearney, Program Director
The Peanut Institute
Richard Ross, Vice President of Marketing
Joseph Vizcarra, Integrated Marketing Manager
Linda McCashion, VP Public Relations
United States Potato Board
Anne Banville, VP Domestic Production
USA Rice Federation
Scott Stevens, VP/GM Silk Brand
White Wave Foods
Not yet on their website, Oldways tells us that The Wisconsin Cheese Board is joining as well.
The big project right now is preparing to launch the Camino Màgico Program nationwide:
Our Camino Màgico Supermarket Guide is being designed, borrowing inspiration from the graphic arts of Latin America and the still lives of masters such as Fernando Botero, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Our classic Latin American Diet Pyramid is also receiving a face-lift as we include graphics depicting activities such as dance, soccer, walking and aerobics at the bottom of the Pyramid, and work upwards with new graphics to better echo Latino culture.
Papayas, mangos, pineapples and limes will be included in the fruit section, with a new array of colorful choices filling the space in our vegetable section. Other changes will be made and unveiled with the first edition of the guide, which resembles a 16-page passport that will open doors to a healthier life.
To launch the Camino Màgico program, we are targeting Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Boston. Our launches will feature local celebrities, nutritionists and scientists, and will be held at sponsoring supermarkets in these target cities. After an initial one-hour symposium, we plan to lead the media on a healthy supermarket tour. Each event will culminate in cooking demonstrations with plenty of food and innovative physical activities.
In preparation for these launches, we are creating distribution alliances with supermarkets, churches and health centers in our target cities, expecting at least one million supermarket guides to be in circulation during 2007. The guides, to be printed three times in 2007, will include dishes ranging from the traditional Arroz con Pollo to a more elaborate Pescado Veracruz, including a total of twelve meals and various snacking suggestions. We encourage everyone interested in the health of Latinos to join us!
We are glad to see a program that might actually work and certainly won’t insult anyone. We like the inclusion of physical activities, fresh vegetables and papayas, mangos, pineapples and limes.
It has always frustrated the Pundit that mangos, with their worldwide popularity, don’t get the retail display space and price points that the fruit merits. Bet an outreach to Latinos will wind up introducing plenty of Anglos to this fantastic fruit.
If you are interested in getting involved, ask for Liz Mintz at Oldways and tell her the Pundit sent you.