Brazilian company Oficina de Merchandising, specialized in promotional material and an exclusive supplier of the McDonald’s chain of stores in five countries in South America, plans to enter the Arab market this year.
The company exports 23% of its production and plans to raise the percentage to 50% in 2005. “The more markets, the greater is our chance of avoiding the seasonal aspect of the Brazilian market,” stated company manager Ronald Peach Jr.
According to him, the contact with McDonald’s representatives was through fair GlobalShop, which took place in March 2004, in Las Vegas, in the United States.
“The fair includes exhibitors from all around the world, who offer from raw material to pre-finished products and we were approved to supply official brand products in South America,” stated Peach. “We have a very competitive price on the market,” he added.
In total, we distributed 1,100 products for the McDonald’s chains in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. Each store receives a display that is a kind of plastic window where it exhibits the gifts that accompany sandwiches for children (Happy Meal known as McLanche Feliz in Brazil).
Production of the items began in July last year and they were delivered in October. “It is a product that should last at least one and a half years. They are permanent displays,” stated Peach.
The first company participation in an international fair took place in 2003, in Portugal. Oficina had the support of the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae) and, after the event, started exporting.
It was, however, at Globalshop, the second international fair the company participated in, that sales were intensified. Canada, the United States, Mexico e Nicaragua were some of the markets they entered.
Apart from displays, Oficina de Merchandising produces counters, kiosks, carts for points of sale, trays for sampling, coolers, thermal packets and urns for raffles.
Their products have already been used by well-known brands like Coca-Cola, Colgate, Arno, DirecTV, Danone, Sadia, Omo, Electrolux, Nestlé, Parmalat, among others.
“At a time when Parmalat was promoting sales of its stuffed animals and teddy bears, we sold 786 kiosks for exchange of coupons for products,” stated the executive.
The Arab countries are not yet included in the list of importers of products made by his company, according to Peach Jr., but the market has potential. “Our products have very much to do with that market, especially the line of electronic machinery (for raffling),” he said.
The company has already been in contact with the Dubai representative of the Pelé coffee brand. He visited Brazil and took back a thermal bag.
Peach also participated in a business roundtable with Moroccan businessmen at the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (CCAB) offices in November last.
On reading an article which said that the government of the southeastern Brazilian state of São Paulo and the CCAB are interested in establishing a partnership to take state companies to the Arab market, Peach turned his interest back to the region and intends to participate in a future mission to Dubai.
This year, Oficina de Merchandising is going to be present in fairs Euroshop, in Germany, and again at Globalshop, in Las Vegas. “We are paying from our own pockets, and that makes it very hard to be present in fairs,” he said.
With annual revenues of approximately US$ 1.15 million, the company produces around 500 products a month. It was established in 1994, and is connected to another of Peach’s companies, Droid, which specializes in technology for promotional material and has been on the market for 16 years. They are both based in São Paulo and have a total of 42 employees.
ANBA ”“ Brazil-Arab News Agency
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