Our chief agricultural products are dairy, beef, onions, pecans, and chile peppers. As Hispanic foods enter the mainstream (think blue corn chips, spicy salsas, and wrap sandwiches), there’s a growing market for New Mexico agricultural products and foods. For example, Santa Fe Tortilla has seen 700 percent growth in eight years, while Albuquerque Tortilla makes 1.5 million tortillas a day.
New Mexico boasts a low cost of doing business, combined with good highways and proximity to population centers like Dallas, Denver, and Phoenix—and that has attracted processors of both Hispanic and mainstream foods. In fact, the New Mexico food industry grew by 15 percent from 2001 to 2002 and continues an upward surge. Clovis’ 54-acre, $190-million Southwest Cheese plant, produces 250 million pounds of cheddar and cheddar-style cheeses per year—all from local milk.