SECAUCUS, NJ: Goya has partnered with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to encourage healthy eating habits in Hispanic communities.
In June, the USDA launched MyPlate, an educational dietary guide that replaced the food pyramid. The organization is now working with Goya to promote the Spanish-language version of the nutritional tool, MiPlato.
Bob Unanue, president of Goya, said the Hispanic demographic is the largest minority in the country, and first lady Michelle Obama wanted to reach this audience through Goya.
“The goal is to address some of the health concerns in our community and the community in general, such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension,” he said.
Goya will connect directly with consumers through brochures, recipe books, and posters that explain MiPlato, after unveiling the USDA partnership yesterday at a Miami event with the first lady, said Unanue. The materials will be available to consumers in supermarkets around the US, he added, and some Goya products will include a MiPlato logo.
Republica, Goya's PR AOR for the last year, is helping with all PR and outreach efforts for the initiative.
Unanue said the company developed the in-store distribution strategy to reach Hispanic consumers and deal with obesity-related health issues quickly. He added that the company wants consumers to know about its products that are gluten-free, sugar-free, and low in sodium.
Goya is also launching an educational program for fourth- and sixth-graders in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Miami, and Tampa that is focused on healthy eating tips, such as correct portion sizes, explained Unanue. The lesson plans will also include animated bean characters who will teach the children nutritional facts.
Carlos Santos, VP of communications at Republica, said the agency is reaching out to Hispanic and food-focused bloggers to increase awareness about MiPlato and Goya's work on the issue. It will also use Facebook posts and Twitter hashtags, such as #MiPlato, to reach consumers, Santos said.
He added that Goya will have a presence at the Food Network's South Beach Wine & Food Festival as the Hispanic/Latin food sponsor, and it will hand out educational brochures, recipe books, and posters to consumers at the event.
At the festival, Goya will also target children with the “Fun and Fitness” activity.