Lopez Negrete Gets Company

Goya Foods has hired The Link Agency in an effort to broaden its appeal with consumers beyond its Hispanic base.

The small shop in Providence, R.I., is charged with creating highly targeted advertising and promotions focusing on non-Hispanics in select markets in the Northeast, as well as in Houston, Chicago and Los Angeles, the agency said.

The Secaucus, N.J.-based sup-plier of foods including rice, beans and nectars wishes to drum up “more general-market penetration” for its products among both thegrocery trade and consumers, according to Link representative Joanne Sourial.

The work will break in November and consist of print and outdoor-based efforts, Sourial said.

Link’s efforts will support the company’s four major product lines and serve as a “supplement” to work being done by Goya’s lead general-market agency, Avrett Free & Ginsberg, New York, she said. The budget for Link was not disclosed; Goya spends about $10 million annually on ads, per CMR.

Link’s assignment is new and resulted from six months of solicitations and two separate presentations to the client; there was no full-blown review, said Sourial.

Alex Lopez Negrete, president and CEO of Goya’s Hispanic agency, Lopez Negrete Communications, said the move makes sense for his client. “More non-Hispanics are buying beans and salsa and seasoning than ever before,” he said, “and Goya will go from being a curiosity in the pantry of the general market to being a staple,” he said.

The independent Houston agency released five Goya spots nationally last week, its first television campaign for the client in two years. Print work began running in U.S. Spanish-language magazines this month.

In one spot, a young student flicks open a can of Goya Pear Nectar. That pulls him into a fantasy world in which he is a master skateboarder who can do fantastic jumps and can turn a fruit stand into shelves of Goya beverages. When he takes his last sip, the fantasy ends—only to be revived when another can is opened.

“He’s able to be all he can be by tasting the refreshing flavor of the nectar,” said senior creative director Javier Gonzalez-Herba.

Goya vies with Jumex and Del Valle in the fruit-drink category.