La Costeña (food company)
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Conservas La Costeña, usually called La Costeña, is a Mexican brand dedicated to the canned products market. It was founded in 1923 by Vicente López Recines. The company has become an important brand inside and outside Mexico. Nowadays, La Costeña sells its products across Mexico and in 40 countries around the world. In spite of the fact that its products in the beginning were chilies, the company began producing new products such as beans, ketchup, vegetables and others. The production plants have been modified also, in addition there is the fact that the factories have won some recognitions for the changes in technology and process. The brand was introduced to the United States by Latin American people, however nowadays the brand is known by a big part of the population. Now the company is managed by the heirs of Vicente López Resines.
La Costeña was founded in 1923 by Vicente López Recines. He bought a little grocery shop called “La Costeña” where he began preparing chili peppers in vinegar. He packaged and sold chilies in 20-kilogram jars with alcohol so that they could last longer. By 1937 López decided to make his own jar company; this decision changed the business. In 1948, he founded the principal factory in Mexico City. It has an area of five thousand square meters. The new production plant count with forklift trucks and transport units; as a consequence the business continued growing up and increasing their distribution territory. The business began its industrialization with the application of the first automatic production line with 3-kilogram cans in 1951. Four years later the company installed an automatic production line to making 105-gram cans, moreover the distribution inside the country began. By 1971 the factory moved to Ecatepec with a facility of 180,00[clarification needed] square meters. Since then this facility has increased by 70 thousand square meters.
In 1975 the company entered the U.S. market. The company continued growing and by 1991 it had founded a new production plant in Sonora for the production of ketchup, vegetables, and more. In 1994 a new plant was built in San Luis Potosi . In 2006 a new project about a completely automatic plant began; this new plant will work with robots; this creation represents a better and faster production with more quality.
Since its creation, La Costeña's market share and reach have been core business interests; as a result, the territory served by the company has continued to grow. Inside Mexico, La Costeña products are sold by small and large shops in every state. To service them, there are thirty distribution centers located in key cities throughout Mexico. There are also two international distribution centers, one each serving the United States (and Canada) and Europe; products are also sold by independent and chain groceries throughout the world. There are three Mexican production plants (in Estado de Mexico, San Luis Potosi and Guasave) creating the brand's products for the various distribution centers. The distribution centers are located in Yucatán, Tabasco, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Puebla, Acapulco, Estado de México, Hidalgo, Morelos (three), Queretaro, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, Aguascalientes, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Durango, Torreón, Tamaulipas, Sonora, Sinaloa, Chihuahua (two), Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur.
The company sells the largest variety of canned products within Mexico. As of 2010 the company exported products to 40 countries; to manage this trade it has offices all over the world such as those in Spain and mainland China. According to the trade paper Soy Entrepreneur, in the same year La Costeña controlled sixty-nine percent of the world chile market, with sixteen percent of its output going to other countries.
The company has a wide variety of products in different presentations. Their main products are chilies, beans, tomato puree, ketchup, mayonnaise, vegetables, creams and soups, sauces, specialties, vinegar, fruit, jams and marmalades, portion packs, Dona Chonita, Rancherita, French’s.
Products include jalapeños, nachos chilies (slices of jalapeños), jalapeños bits, serrano, serrano slices, rajas rojas, rajas verdes, tomatillos, chipotles, chipotle bits, carrot pieces and long chili peppers.
Another big part of the products are beans (black beans and kidney beans). Their presentations can be as whole, refried and shattered beans. Some of them can be also mixed with chorizo, cheese, chipotle and pork rinds, finally the beans can be already prepared from traditional recipes as the frijoles charros or sauce for enfrijoladas (similar to enchiladas). However, PROFECO (special institute for the Mexican products quality) found that there were more of sodium recommended in some canned beans.
In tomato puree products we can find four different presentations: tomato puree, condiment tomato puree, condiment fire tomato and chopped peeled tomatoes. These tomato sauces are used to create the base for some Mexican soups and some Mexican dishes. The presentation for the ketchup squeeze bottle, ketchup glass bottle, ketchup style sauce. The squeezy presentation target are kids.
In mayonnaise products there are a lot of presentations: the mayonnaise with lemon juice in bottle and squeezy presentation, mayonnaise dressing for salads in bottle and squeeze bottle presentation, light mayonnaise in bottle and squeezy presentation, mayonnaise with jalapeño in bottle and squeezy presentation and mayonnaise with chipotle in bottle and squeezy presentation.
For the vegetables there are five different presentations: golden corn, peas, vegetable salads, peas with carrots, sliced capsicums.
La Costeña entered the international market in 1975. Since the beginning the U.S. was its principal goal with 90% of La Costeña exports going there. The USA has a large Hispanic population, who are the principal buyers of La Costeña products, however the products have become very popular among the rest of the population with chilies (Jalapeños, nachos, Chipotle, among others) as the best sellers . In June 2006, La Costeña established a production plant in Arizona; the plant was built in 2001 for a Slim Fast Foods, however it has closed in 2004. The new plant is on the Interstate 10 freeway, which also connects to Interstate 8, helping distribution to the southern California. After the economic crisis, the company has made reduced sales in the US. Although the economy has since improved, food companies have not yet seen any recovery. Until March 2010 the growth was lower than the growth in 2009. This has driven the company to the search for new markets such as Asian markets. There had been some negative press that has affected the image of the company in USA. In 2008 there was a problem because it was said that the products had salmonella, however the problem was resolved when the company showed the hygiene guidelines used in the factory.
The company has won many important prizes at national and international levels. In June it won “El Premio Nacional de Logística 2010” (National Logistic Award 2010) for it advances in production, distribution and lower cost; this is the second time it won it, the first was in 2007. They also get the ISO-9002 on October 11, 2010. This price gives the recognition of standards for quality management systems. Other certificates are ISO 22000, HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points), BRC (British Retail Consortium), IFS (International Food Standard), SQF (Safety Quality Food), BASC (Business Alliance for Secure Commerce). Most of them give the company worldwide recognition.
Charity and charitable
La Costeña provides some of its production and profits to charities and when there is a natural disaster in the country relief helping affected people with merchandise. First, La Costeña provides some of its products when there is a natural disaster in Mexico or other countries; for example the canned products that were donated to Chile after the earthquakes in 2010. Second,it also participate in charity programas, one example is the contribution made annually to the Teleton event that takes place in Mexico City.
- "Se queda en La Costeña Premio Nacional de Logísticapor segunda ocasión" [La Costeña stays with the national logistic award] (in Spanish). Enfásis Logístic Online. June 2010. Retrieved 01/11/2010.
- "La costeña" [La Costeña] (in Spanish). Retrieved 02/11/2010.
- "nuestras plantas" (in Spanish).
- Carrano P (October 2010). "Top 10 del Marketing Gustavo Vogel" [Marketin Top 10 Gustavo Vogel] (in Spanish). Neo. Retrieved 01/11/2010=.
- Bruch Raúl. http://www.soyentrepreneur.com/home/index.php?p=nota&idNota=1871 "El Sabor de La Costeña" [The flavour of La Costeña]. soyentrepreneur.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 02/11/2010.
- Ramiro Alonso (3 June 2010). "Profeco halla sodio de más en productos" [Profeco found more sodium that recommended in products]. El Universal (in Spanish). Retrieved 07/11/2010.
- Gesbek Shane. "Arizona Canning Company". Tucson. Retrieved 05/11/2010.
- Mario Maldonado (2010-05-24). "Alimento mexicano, con mermas en EUA" [Mexican Food with mermas in USA]. Milenio (in Spanish). Retrieved 05/11/2010.
- "Los parámetros de envasado de chiles, óptimos" [The chiles filling parameters, optimal]. El Universal (in Spanish). 28 July 2008. Retrieved 07/11/2010.
- "La costeña recibé iso-9002" [La Costeña gets ISO-9002] (in Spanish). Mexico: El Universal, Nuestro Mundo. March 2002.
- "La Costena (mexico)". Chenab. Retrieved 5/11/2010.
- "dona La costeña alimentos para damnificados chilenos" (in Spanish).
- "Arranca décima edición del Teletón" (in Spanish). Retrieved 01/11/2010.