Friday, October 23, 2015

Is it time for ethnic foods to broaden their reach?

Goya, the largest marketer of Latin foods in the U.S. says yes. 

We've seen plenty of mainstream products reaching out to ethnic niche targets as their population grows.  But the opposite is also true.  As ethnic groups have introduced new foods to the US their appeal for mainstream Americans has grown.  As a result many companies are introducing products with exotic flavors, like Campbell's -- Creamy Poblano & Queso soup.

Now Goya feels we have reached the tipping point, warranting an effort aimed at the non-Hispanic Goya consumer.  Interesting.  (Lukovitz, 2015)

The consumer insight is: I want to be a great cook, but I still have a way to go.

And here's the commercial.

So, what do you think?  Is it smart for Goya to target non-Hispanics?  And what about the consumer insight?  Will it connect with the target on an emotional level?  Does it make you want to buy Goya?

Lukovitz, K. (2015, October 15)  General-Market Goya Campaign Celebrates 'Real Life Chefs'  Retrieved October 22, 2015, from


  1. When I watched that video, I got a sense of empowerment and understanding. I also got excited. The insight resonates with many amateur home cooks who love cooking, but who also don't do it at a professional level.

    I've never heard of Goya before this commercial. It made me want to buy the experience of cooking, and I think Goya is supposed to guide the journey as ingredients. So it does make me want to buy Goya. I feel like Goya understands me.

  2. I think it is a good idea for goya to also target non-Hispanics because people do want to try exotic cuisine. Take myself as an example, one of my favorite fast food brand is Chipotle, and I often see many non-Hispanic customers in Chipotle restaurants. I agree that there is growing market for ethnic foods. Besides, as we discussed in class, people now care more and more about health and time. So I believe Goya's high-quality, fresh-tasting Latin foods can attract many non-Hispanic customers.

    The customer in sight is as you mentioned: I want cooking at home to be easy and fun.

    I can relate to this commercial. I love cooking. I want to make tasting food, but I don't want to spend much time and energy on it. However, this commercial doesn't make me want to buy Goya. I am more motivated by the recipes and pictures on I want to wake those tasting dishes.

  3. The most relevant idea nowadays I heard regarding to that category, because they are focusing on the niche that doesn’t get any attention right now, but this niche is a heavy user’s one, because the market has been saturated with ethnic foods without taking into consideration the local selections.
    As people tend to think that globalization is moving your own country food to another country, Goya surely thinks that Non-Hispanics want to eat in their own way as the insight states, it will connect to the target due to the saturation I mentioned before, when people tend to feel saturated by something they tend to avoid the general causes of the saturation
    Finally it’s a good movement from Goya, i buy some Goya products for my house but I’m not a recipe-follower as I cook for myself I try to catch new cooking experiences mixing local ingredients with global ones.

  4. I believe that this is a necessary move by the Goya brand being that the Latino consumer base has experienced it longer and used more Goya products than general-market consumers. This strategy allows for Goya to target those general-market consumers and make them aware of the Goya brand, all while attempting to educate them on how to integrate Goya into their everyday cooking. Leveraging the huge popularity of Latino cuisine in mainstream American
    culture, this new advertising strategy positions Goya as the ultimate provider of "authentic" Latino ingredients and foods for various generations of Hispanic consumers as well as a new segment in the general market of enthusiastic cooks with a passion to create, experience, and share authentic ethnic foods at the family table. I grew up on Goya products so for me, I don't need any kind of marketing push to convince me to purchase their products...I have always been a fan.

  5. I do think that it is a good idea for Goya to target non-Hispanic consumers. If mainstream products are reaching out to ethnic niches as their new targets and it is successes, I do not see why Goya wouldn’t have success doing the opposite. I have Goya products in my pantry at home already. The commercial that Goya produces does a good job of portraying a consumer insight that will connect with the target. There are plenty of people who can relate to wanting to be a better cook than they are, and the commercial provides Goya as a solution to their problem. I also think that it will be successful because there are a lot of non-Hispanic people who enjoy cooking ethnic foods. For example, growing up we would have “taco nights” at our house for dinner and this would be a great plug for where Goya could be used to make easy, yet authentic, Spanish meals.
    Dori G.

  6. I definitely think that it's a good idea to target non-hispanics, since I believe that they also are interested in cooking Hispanic food. In general, I think it can be a good strategy to target groups that aren't familiar with the product, but are likely to be interested in it.

    For example, although Sweden is very far away from Mexico, Mexican food is very popular there. A company called Santa Maria Tex Mex targets Swedes who want to learn to cook Mexican food, and the company is so successful. Very many Swedish homes have taco-nights on Fridays, and "Tacos" has become one of the most popular dishes in the country, mostly thanks to Santa Maria since it is the only, big food brand with Mexican food.

    The difference between the US and Sweden in this case is that it would make more sense to target Mexicans in the US and not in Sweden, since there barely are any Mexicans in Sweden. However, Santa Maria has really showed that it is definitely possible and likely to be successful if you target a group that isn't necessarily connected to and familiar with the product that you're selling.

    So, I think it is smart of Goya to target non-Hispanics.

    Also, their commercial appeals well to the consumer insight I want to learn more about and be better at cooking HIspanic food. It actually makes me want to try the brand!

  7. I like this ad and think it was a very prudent move by Goya because there’s a huge movement to cooking your own food and there are copious amounts of self-described “foodies.” Amateur chefs even have their own following on Youtube and food porn has entered into our lexicon. In addition, targeting to non-Hispanics is a great move because not only does it introduce others to Latin food, but they will be “the” brand when people think of Latin food.

    From personal experience, most of my Hispanics friends are very serious about their food and cooking their own food is a must so it would be like preaching to the choir in my opinion to only target Hispanics. Americans have already embraced cooking non-American food such as Mexican, Chinese, Indian and Korean. Why not introduce Americans to other Latin cuisines other than Mexican? How about Peruvian, Puerto Rican, or Ecuadorian? I think we’re ready to handle the fact that Latin food doesn’t only mean Mexican just like Asian food isn’t only Chinese or sushi.

    One of things I like about the commercial is that it’s really not only about Latin food, but you can use Goya with other dishes. The ad is clearly targeting those who like to cook while poking fun at “foodies,” but I think this ad can speak to everyone who enjoys food, no matter if they are skilled cook or a novice. If anything, it’s definitely empowering people who are apprehensive about cooking to give it a try.

    Would I buy Goya? Only if they have an organic version.

  8. The brand GOYA has been used in my family for many years. The brand’s seasoning gives the food a Latin taste that reminds me of the food my mother and grandmothers used to cook. I never thought of GOYA products as something that made the cook better it just gave the food a Latin flavor. I do think it is a smart idea for GOYA to begin to target non-hispanics. People from all over the world enjoy exotic cuisines including Latin food. By targeting non-hispanics the brand is saying that everyone can cook and enjoy a Latin meal and it doesn’t have to be carryout.
    I think the commercial will connect with GOYA’s target. It depicts common mistakes made as well as the fun one has while learning to cook and will relate on an emotional level. I am a GOYA consumer. I use it for the taste it gives the food. As the GOYA quote states “if it’s GOYA it has to be good”….although I’m a bit biased. This saying has been around for a long time on the Spanish channels and it sounds a bit better in Spanish…”si es GOYA tiene que ser Bueno”

  9. I think it is smart for Goya to target Non-Hispanics in the U.S. because Mexican food has become a mainstream food in America, due to the fact that Mexicans are the fastest growing ethic group in America. I grew up in California – SF Bay Area and I’ve always been exposed to the Mexican food and culture. I remember growing up, at least once a week we would have taco night for dinner. There’s a neighborhood in San Francisco called Mission District and every Sunday afternoon I would go there with friends for some amazing burritos. The only ethic group that has a fast food chain in America is Mexican food – Taco Bell. I know many of my Mexican friends are embarrassed by that but nevertheless it just confirms that Mexican food has become a (food) staple in America. I know many Non-Hispanic homes make some type of Mexican food for dinner at least once a month and so it’s a great opportunity for Goya to introduce its product to the American household.
    I think there’s a great consumer insight in connecting with the target on an emotional level. For me as I mentioned above, growing up, I remember having taco nights at my house and my ritual of going to Mission District with friends every Sunday for some great cheap Mexican food. As a result I make a mean quesadilla that my friends and family love. So I’m pretty sure when I have my own family I will keep the tradition of having “Mexican night” for dinner like I used to when I was a kid. So yes, it does make me want to continue to buy Goya.
    Also I think it's worth mentioning that my family has always used Goya because some of their products can also be used in making Filipino food.

    Girlie E. Gaviola


  10. I think that Goya was very smart by expanding their consumer base to a non-Hispanic consumer. According to the 2013 U.S. Sensus, Hispanic represents 17% of the population, so this means hat the product has a huge opportunity outside this market.

    Message and consumer insight are great for people who want good taste. Their tag line is "If it is Goya, it has to be good" creates a great expectation and make people to try it.

    The company is also considering that new generations are willing to try new foods which helps the product to go beyond its primary consumer.

    In conclusion, I believe Goya has a great strategy, no wonder why is the America' faster-growing food companies.

  11. I think is a good commercial and they need this to keep the attention for the all of consumers because in these days there’s no frontiers for the food. Now we can eat in a lot of different restaurants from different countries and the people, like me, who like to cook, we are always looking for new plates to prepare for us and our friends.
    I think with this commercial they arrive to the people ho is not-Hispanic and with people who like to cook and they make mistakes when they are cooking or when you spend a lot of time in the kitchen for prepare a good dish but after that your friends or the consumers don’t value your work.
    There’s other think that keep my attention and is when in the commercial you saw a woman looking a spoon and thinking if this spoon is the measure that you need. This keep my attention because in other countries we use “real” measures like 100gr or like 0’5 liters but here in US I think that you normally use for measure how to prepare a plate with spoons and cups (may be is not always like this). My be this is for keep the attention like people like me.

  12. The more Goya as a brand grows, the better it is in terms of revenue, but only if it is executed properly. I think that if Goya were to incorporate more natural products as opposed to reaching different ethnic groups then it would have a better impact. It shows that they are keeping up with the recent demands from their consumers.

    The consumer insight shows that if one were to purchase those products then they would be on the right track of becoming good cooks. I personally don't use Goya as much as I used to (my family used to use the canned beans and chickpeas from Goya), but if there was more of a natural approach with their products then I would consider becoming a fan. I'm just a picky consumer, but seems like that would be another great approach for the company.

    -Sweta P.

  13. I think that Goya’s decision to move beyond its target niche market is a very risky move. It can create confusion for the existent target consumer. Additionally, the switch to broaden the audience can also result in a financial loss.

    However, I believe that it is increasingly becoming a safer “switch” for ethnic food companies to broaden beyond their niche targets. Living in a globalized world, we are now expected more than ever before to be familiar with other country’s markets, politics, and cultural norms. Globalization, in conjunction with increased travel and education has undoubtedly contributed to an increased interest in foreign ethnic foods. Consumers now hold interest in products that they associate with cultures they hold interests in.


    Goya is not the first to pioneer such foresight. Companies such as Chipotle demonstrate their understanding of this concept. It is suggestive that perhaps Chipotle forsaw the increased interest in ethnic foods, and specifically in Spanish Cuisines. The Hispanic population is rapidly growing in the United States. This would explain their marketing of Spanish Cuisine to the general American population, as opposed to the niche Hispanic target market.

    I believe that Goya, and Chipotle are taking considerably necessary steps to stay alive in today’s economy. More companies should follow in their footsteps because it is clear that this can present increased opportunities.

  14. I have never used Goya products, so I cannot speak to their quality, but I can say I am more influenced to try Goya products after this. I think it is wise for them to go after non-hispanics. As a burnt toast aficionado and purveyor of sub quality food stuff, I think it is wise to appeal to a broad range of kitchen folk, especially those that enjoy cooking but lack the skills required. Goya, I believe, made the right decision in attaching themselves to a new target and potentially gaining some market share of the non Hispanic spice industry.

  15. As everyone else has mentioned, after watching the Goya ad, I think it’s easy to identify with the consumer insight of wanting to be cook/be a good cook even if you still need to work on your cooking skills. In the MediaPost article, one thing that stuck out to me was the insight that inspired the ad campaign’s creative, that consumers’ perception of Goya products was that their products were consistently high quality and dependable. And I think that really came through in the ad, as a viewer/potential consumer, I felt like the ad was saying to me, even if you aren’t a good cook, it’s OK, because you have Goya to help you. I think the tagline at the end of the ad hones in this point: “If it’s Goya…it has to be good!” This ad definitely worked for me (I think I might go out to buy some Goya beans or spices tonight!) and I thought it’s message was something that transcended language and that’s important, if you want to target non-Hispanic consumers. In the US, targeting non-Hispanic consumers could mean targeting not only English speakers but Chinese, Korean, French, Arabic speakers, etc.

    I think it’s smart for Goya to make this move to broaden their reach and acquire new customers. Since I’m Asian American, just thinking about that segment alone in the US, you have a group that has a potentially high purchasing power. I read in a Nielsen study a few months ago that Asian-American buying power increased 7% in 2014 (from $718 billion to $770 billion) and is expected to reach $1 trillion in 2018. If you add up the purchasing power of all the potential non-Hispanic segments in the US market, that’s a lot more products that they have the potential to sell.

    -Katherine Hung

  16. I do like this campaign from Goya, their consumer insight works for me and it actually made me laugh when watching the ad. It plays very well on the feeling we (or most of us) have regularly; we try to cook something special, new or exciting but in just a few seconds something goed wrong. The ad gives me the feeling it's common for things like that to happen and that 'we' can still be great cooks (a bit like the Ratatouille movie; anyone can cook ;-)). The target on non-Hispanics definitely makes sense to me, it's such a popular way of cooking that it attracts non-Hispanics as well.

    I personally would probably not buy the product since I eat mostly organic and fresh food but the ad makes me think for sure next time I see it in the supermarket.

    - Lucette

  17. Over the years, and various articles later- it's been indicated that hispanics will be one of the largest populations (race wise) and that we should target to them. Now many years later, maybe Goya has a point- we've hit the tipping point. Maybe we've advertised to them so much or accommodated them with products they would enjoy of their culture that it has saturated the markets so much that non-hispanics have begun to buy things that were targeted for hispanics and the hispanic culture. Also, if Hispanics are becoming one of the largest race populations in the the United States- perhaps more non-hispanics have more hispanic friends and see/want more of what their hispanic friends use from their culture or something similar. It could be a great way for Goya to gain more costomers as they have already dominated with Hispanics.

    I think the consumer insight is smart, especially for Goya who sells their products at lower prices. They are targeting people who have just started to begin to cook and who may not want to spend a lot of money on products or may not know the difference yet. I didn’t agree at the end where it said, “if it’s goya… it has to be good” as my interpretation of Goya is basic, not unique, not high end. However, maybe it’s said that way because their consumer that is non-hispanic doesn’t know the difference yet. Goya is for a starter chef until they graduate to another level of cooking expertise. I wonder if later they will have higher end products to keep the people who have gained more expertise in cooking.

    It might connect with the target on an emotional level. Although, I had to watch the commercial three times to understand what they were trying to do or say. So it might take a few tries (maybe via hulu- since the same ads run over and over throughout a show). It doesn’t make me want to buy Goya because I cook sometimes and Goya is the product I buy if I don’t have enough money to buy the product I want or if I am trying a new type of food, I might buy Goya if it’s significantly cheaper than their competitor.