TIGARD, Ore. — An independent retailer who converted a store to a Hispanic format complained here yesterday that some major beer and soft-drink manufacturers are not making Latino-oriented point-of-sale materials available to him. "We know they are available in other markets, but we're not getting them here," Tom Evans, owner of Grande Foods, Cornelius, Ore., said during a panel at the 13th annual Food Industry Leadership Conference sponsored by Portland State University. Evans told SN after his talk that sales at the 35,000-square-foot store have gone up 30% since he converted the store in July 2006, with most of the increases coming after he installed more bilingual employees at the store last April. He said he had converted the store in anticipation of a Wal-Mart Supercenter scheduled to open 10 blocks away next year. Bilingual packaging is very important to his mix, Evans said, noting that a private-label line called Special Value from his wholesaler, Unified Grocers, Los Angeles, has become a big seller because of bilingual labeling, as has bilingual health and beauty care items. "Anything we can get that's bilingual, we jump on," he added.
Read More of Today's Headlines