The stunning growth of soyfood sales, an average of 25 percent across all categories in 1999, spurred the Soyfoods Association of North America (SANA) to launch a bold new communications and promotion program at its annual meeting in Anaheim, CA. To steer the soyfoods industry into a new phase, the membership elected as President, Yvonne Lo, President of Vitasoy USA, Inc., one of the leading producers and marketers of soy beverages and tofu in North America. “As we move forward into the 21st Century, I am excited about the opportunities that face the soy industry,” said Yvonne Lo. “This year promises to offer The Soyfoods Association of North America fantastic possibilities to promote soy as we begin to implement many of our ambitious projects, like the new web-page and the annual April’s Soyfoods Month campaign.”

Building on this April’s Soyfoods Month activities in over 2500 Kroger Food stores, the Association plans to reach out next year to additional retail chains to help shoppers easily find and use soyfoods daily. From the new web- site, www.soyfoods.org, consumers will discover the latest research on soy and health and learn about traditional and new soyfoods such as smoked flavored soy nuts and Edamame. Through the web-site, shoppers and businesses will be able to identify the producers of various soyfoods, specialty beans, and soy proteins and flour and also link to some member companies. SANA members will receive issue alerts and strategic communications about market opportunities and threats. Efforts will continue to protect the industry’s right to use the term soymilk and to freely market soyfoods in any section of the supermarket. The Canadian and Mexican governments have expressed interest in establishing affiliations with the U.S.-based organization that currently includes several Canadian companies.

The newly elected President of the Association, Yvonne Lo, President of Vitasoy USA, thoroughly understands the soyfoods industry. Under her leadership, Lo founded Vitasoy USA in 1979 by obtaining exclusive distributorship for marketing, selling and distributing soymilk from her father’s company, Vitasoy International Holdings, LTD, Hong Kong. Lo began by going store-to-store in San Francisco’s Chinatown selling and delivering her soymilk. Twenty years later, Lo sits atop a $60 million company, with product lines that range from soymilk to tofu to Asian pastas and teas. “When I started this company, my dream was to make soymilk and tofu as mainstream as hotdogs and apple pie.” said Lo. “With the recent FDA health claim for soy and preventing heart disease and advances in food technology, I am seeing my dream come true as more Americans than ever are enjoying delicious and healthy soy products.”

Other officers serving with Yvonne Lo are Roger Kilburn, Devonsoy Farms, Inc. as Vice President; Phil Fass, Arthur Daniels Midland, as Treasurer; and Allan Routh, SunRich, Inc. as Past President. Other members of the 2000-2001 SANA Board of Directors include:

  • Judy Baker, Indiana Soybean Board
  • Myron Cooper, Hain Food Group
  • Peter Golbitz, Soyatech, Inc.
  • Paul Lang, Natural Products, Inc.
  • Ron McDermott, Kellogg/Worthington Foods
  • Rick McKelvey, Lightlife Foods
  • Tina Nelson, Galaxy Foods Company
  • Tom Woodward, Tetra Pak, Inc.

The Soyfoods Association of North America’s mission is to encourage sustainability, integrity and growth in the soyfoods industry by promoting the benefits and consumption of soy-based foods and ingredients in diets. Stewarding the industry, SANA will continue to:

    * increase consumer trial and usage of soyfoods and ingredients.
    * establish, promote and adopt standards for new and existing soyfoods.
    * be the key resource for information and direction on soyfoods.
    * create a forum to manage key issues and opportunities confronting the industry.

Soy Tip of the Day: For a nutritious and delicious treat, blend your favorite fruit with soymilk.