In the spirit of Hispanic Heritage Month, News 12 New Jersey visited the largest Hispanic food company in the United States.
More than 2,500 products are manufactured right out of the Goya Foods, Inc. plant in Secaucus. It all started in 1936.
“Our company has really tracked the immigration to this country of Latinos,” says Robert Uanaue, the company’s president and CEO. “It’s a melting pot.”
Goya Foods employs 5,000 people. As Latin American migration grows, the company’s product portfolio and footprint also grows. It has 26 installations worldwide.
“They say we’ll be the biggest band by 2050, if not maybe next week,” says Unanue. “Seventy million Latinos in this country and we are the second largest Latino country in the world.”
Unanue says that despite the recent inflation the United States has experienced, Goya Foods continues to maintain its affordability.
“What Goya sells is good, delicious and nutritious food. Rice and beans are a big part of our business,” he says. “We also produce our own cans and bottles. We are vertically integrated, so controlling the quality of canning, packaging, also allows us to reduce our costs.
Goya Gives, the organization’s philanthropic arm, continues to provide relief and supports nearly 300 organizations each year.
“We like to think of ourselves as first responders,” says Unanue. “Puerto Rico was devastated by [Hurricane] Fiona and here we are.
Unanue says the company has never stopped working internally during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has also allowed them to help give back to the community in need.
“We didn’t stop for a moment…we were the first responders, we had food. We were the only businesses open and we were lucky to have people to provide packaging and materials,” he says.
Goya Foods was founded by Unanue’s grandparents. He says it proves the mission is as much about the importance of family as it is about achieving the American Dream.