Raúl Peláez
President Of The Board And Ceo
Kua Mex Foods
/
View from the Top

Consumers Demand Healthier, but Still Delicious Products

Thu, 08/16/2018 - 11:18

Q: Kua Mex Foods offers two product lines: healthy and gourmet. How do you differentiate these lines from others in the market?
A: Kua Mex Foods’ healthy and gourmet business model is an innovative and disruptive approach to the food industry in Mexico. The wellness niche that has grown with the arrival of millennials has proven to be highly profitable and is growing quickly on a global scale. Kua offers highly-differentiated products that are not only affordable and have great taste, but are also a great alternative to help fight obesity and overweight in Mexico. Our goal is to offer healthier and better products to our customers.
Q: How does the company develop its products and what protocols do you follow to add new ones to your portfolio?
A: Kua Mex Foods is driven by innovation. We are constantly creating new products and brands in line with our wellness approach of healthy and gourmet. Among the most distinguishable attributes of our products are high quality and exquisite flavor. We have a robust team that specializes in the development of new formulas for products that merge health, great taste and affordability for our consumers. Our products are certified by the most prestigious national and international agencies in the food industry. Moreover, we look to acquire new companies that fit our differentiated product portfolio.
Q: How have your exports been received abroad and what are the challenges of marketing and commercializing traditional Mexican products like nopal?
A: Kua Mex Foods exports to several countries. In past years, the global demand for healthy products reached double-digit growth. Japan, which stands out for its healthy eating habits and general wellness lifestyle, has had the highest growth in demand. As the millennial-driven wellness trend continues to expand, however, we expect more countries to join the customer list. To help accelerate this growth, we attend annual national and international expos to showcase our products and attract new customers. In 2018, exports represented 20 percent of our total revenue, compared to 5 percent the previous year. We estimate exports will represent 50 percent of our total revenue by 2022.
Q: How does Kua Mex Foods support the brands it works with?
A: We invest in companies that are already positioned in the Mexican market and help them to continue growing through innovation and by introducing them to new channels and clients. The first company we invested in was Nopalia, which produces nopal (cactus) tortillas and snacks. Their products were good but it was our strategic alliance that made them great. One of the best products in our portfolio is Churritos de Nopal that became a blockbuster in Mexico and abroad. Since the acquisition, the company has grown 45 times in less than five years.
Q: What changes and trends do you see in Mexican consumption patterns?
A: There has never been such a high level of health and wellness awareness as there is today. People are becoming ever more conscious of how they feed their body and the repercussions food can have in either causing or preventing health problems. There has been a global shift in consumption patterns toward healthier, more natural products that provide nutritional benefits. This has proven to be an opportunity for Kua to introduce high-quality, healthy and gourmet products to these fast-growing markets. We plan to acquire one or two more companies to double our current size, with a sales target of US$300 million by 2022 and an EBITDA margin of 16 percent. This will pave the way to an IPO.
Q: What is Kua Mex Foods’ added value??
A: Externally, our mission is to provide healthier products at a reasonable price with great taste. Internally, we are proud of hiring mostly women, who now represent 70 percent of our total workforce. We also buy our raw materials from small producers at a fair-trade price to support small and medium businesses, while still generating great value to our shareholders through high-quality, affordable products.

 

Kua Mex Foods is a Mexican company specialized in the production of gourmet foods and beverages. Its health line includes products such as Frutos de vida, Kua Candy, Manitoba, Nopalitoz and Nopalia