Agaia Latin America looks to expand footprint of its Evolve eco-friendly cleaning products
Following a $5 million investment over the past five years, Agaia Latin America — makers of the biodegradable cleaning product line Evolve — is expanding operations to other countries, including the Dominican Republic and onto platforms like Amazon.
The Evolve cleaning products, which are touted as being “people, planet and pet safe” are manufactured in Puerto Rico, sold in stores like Walmart and Amigo, and exported to other countries. Its manufacturing plant is in Guaynabo’s Barrio Amelia, where it employs 15 people, company executives told News is my Business.
“Evolve represents a new way of cleaning; effective, efficient and responsible. Safe for the consumer, their pets and the planet. Manufactured in Puerto Rico, made with natural and sustainable compounds, free of chemicals, pollutants and carcinogens,” the company said on its Facebook page.
The company is currently registering its Evolve product line in the Dominican Republic and is awaiting approval. In addition, the company is in talks with digital merchandisers, like Resource One and RG24 from Amazon, to introduce 15 of their products there by June 1, company CEO José Santiago said.
The eco-friendly products are stored in containers that are made up of 90% less plastic than other cleaning products and are 100% natural without chemicals. The packaging includes a pouch and a bottle, which can be refilled by adding a liter of water. The company’s goal is to end the use of plastic in the next 18-24 months when they hope their clients will only buy the pouches and not the bottles.
“‘Put your droplet of water to save the planet’ is our motto. So, using less plastic is very important for us. The price range is really six cents per ounce from. For 64 ounces that make up the bottle and the pouch, you get 50% less plastic, 100% more product at 40% the price,” said Santiago.
The investors first launched their ecofriendly cleaning product line in 2014 when they were part of Agaia Inc. Their initial distribution began in Puerto Rico, part of the Caribbean and the Florida peninsula. After not seeing success with their product, they bought a patent to cover the Latin American region and created Agaia Latin America.
“We started preparing ourselves on a corporative level by deciding in a strategic way to sell at the retail level in Colombia. And so, we started in Bogotá, with its eight million residents,” said Richy Santiago, the company’s chief innovation officer.
They started selling to a European private distributor there, called Makro, and now also sell to Justo y Bueno stores in Colombia.
Their strategy showed that because publicity in Central and South America was so homogenous, launching in those markets would impact the rest of their sales in a positive way.
Now they want to make it their mission to create awareness about not harming the planet and are confident to do so by expanding their market in Puerto Rico and on Amazon, so it “reaches the world,” the executives said.
“We want generate awareness about how we must change the way we clean and take care of our planet. We need to help our planet keep going, by removing plastic and conscientizing on not using chemicals to prevent damaging our water resources. That is our plan,” José Santiago said.
COVID-19 had mixed impact
Agaia Latin America’s production process was “slightly affected” by the pandemic, due to the disruption created in the raw material chain because now rather than buying equipment from a stateside distributor, the company has to depend on providers from afar, like in China, the executives explained.
Nevertheless, the demand for their product has increased significantly in online sales and they are “the official cleaning disinfectants in Mexico and Colombia,” they said.
When Evolve was tested against COVID-19, it resulted 99.9% effective and is currently seeking approval as an “official disinfectant” by the US Environmental Protection Agency, they said.
The company has more than 34 products in its portfolio and runs operations in Puerto Rico, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Panama, and Costa Rica.