Nutraseutica International will offer BI's complete line of ingredients, which includes organics, whole herb powders and teas, herbal extracts, vitamins, minerals and specialty ingredients for dietary supplements, functional foods and beverages. This is a first big step into the Mexican market for the manufacturer, which previously had a limited presence in the country. "We've sold ingredients into Mexico on occasion but it's never been a focus for us," George Pontiakos, president and CEO of BI Nutraceuticals told NutraIngredients-USA. The company says it has chosen the Mexican distributor in part because it has an established and broad customer base south of the border. "Nutraseutica International has an excellent reputation in Mexico, and establishing this partnership allows us to further increase our market share and expand our international presence," said Pontiakos. Pontiakos said that, internationally, BI's business has been increasing in Europe, Asia and the Middle East up until this point. However, the deal with Nutraseutica in Mexico allows them to expand internationally, while at the same time not going much further than their own doorstep. "We think it's a very strong nutraceutical market," said Pontiakos. While Nutraseutica is tapped into the needs of the Mexican market, BI says the two markets - that of both the US and Mexico - are not actually dissimilar. "We don't see a major difference between the markets - except that in Mexico there's more direct marketing," said Pontiakos. The Mexican market is characterized by a multitude of locally-based direct marketers BI says it wants to work with. While Pontiakos says BI is aware of the potentially different tastes and marketing strategies that could be geared for the Hispanic market in Mexico, it says it will let Nutraseutica and its clients gage how to apply this. "We rely on our customers to let us know what they want," said Pontiakos. Headquartered in Guadalajara, Nutraseutica also distributes to both Central and South America. The company specializes in what BI says are high-quality bulk commodities, spices, herbs, grains, oils and ingredients for use in foods and cosmetics. In addition, Nutraseutica has a facility in Zapopan, in the state of Jalisco, dedicated to manufacturing gel and tablets and providing packaging services. BI has facilities in Long Beach, California, Islandia, New York, as well as Suzhou, China. The market for Hispanic food and beverage is swelling in the US, with manufacturers increasingly targeting it with their products. According to a recent report by Packaged Facts, growth within the $5.7bn market is driven not only by the growing US Hispanic population, but also by the expanding tastes of non-Hispanic Americans. Nutraceutial aloe research and development company Aloecorp this year announced a move into functional water with aloe geared to Hispanic consumers. According to the company's market research, Hispanic consumers have traditionally used herbal ingredients and are therefore a prime market for innovative products, such as waters, that make use of botanical ingredients. By means of its research, the company has highlighted Hispanics in particular as an ethnic group more likely to hand down the traditional use of herbals from one generation to the next. By contrast, it identified non-Hispanic whites as being more likely to follow recent trends or fads in this market.