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What began as a dream for Cuban born Luis Jardines in the eighties is today the home of Peruvian beverage Inka Cola in the United States. Continental Food and Beverage Inc./Inka Cola USA began when Jardines started distributing the drink in a taxicab throughout businesses and bodegas in Miami.
Almost four decades later, his dream has become a successful company that is Coca-Cola’s bottler and exclusive distributor for the soft drink brand Inca Kola in the United States. The beverage is distributed in more than 40 states and in 20 countries around the world, in addition to other brands of food and beverage products.
The founder’s granddaughter Elizabeth Husks Berman, president of the company; her husband, Randall Berman, COO, and nephew, Julio Coen, general manager, lead this family run business headquartered in Clifton, NJ.
In an interview with Abasto Magazine, Elizabeth Husks Berman said that the secret of Continental Food and Beverage Inc. success, “is to work as a team and identify the talent that there is in the people who work in our different markets; that is why we have been able to achieve success in such extended territories”.
Continental continues to grow in the USA with Peruvian beverage Inca Kola and new products
Randall Berman added that another part of their success is due “to the connection that we have with the community. We are supporting chambers of commerce, local community organizations, civic centers. With these connections and the outreach they offer, they begin to speak positively about our brand and our products; those comments are passed by word of mouth and become very powerful promotional tools.”
In addition to Inca Kola’s distribution, the company has opened its doors to other ethnic products through its Continental brand, which are also having success among the Hispanic consumers in the United States.
“Obviously Continental has not stayed back representing a single product; we also offer, for instance, Malta El Sol, that is a leader in the malts category right now,” Coën said.
In addition, Continental Food and Beverage Inc./Inca Kola USA aims at conquering the American soft drink market and they are opening doors through sports, Randall Berman commented to Abasto. “We are sponsoring Mixed Martial Arts combat sport competitions; we sponsored the Legacy Fighting Alliance(LFA) and fighter Valentina Shevchenko who is going to fight for the world championship of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Through this sport, we have access to national and international audiences,” he explained.
Last August, the National Supermarket Association (NSA), the organization that gathers independent Hispanic supermarkets, recognized Continental Food and Beverage Inc./Inca Kola USA as Company of the Year during their business trade show held in New York.
A Spanish version of this article was originally published in Abasto Magazine under the title LA EMPRESA QUE HIZO FAMOSO AL REFRESCO PERUANO INCA KOLA EN USA written by Hernando Ramirez-Santos.