Food & Drink in Colombia

As its political risk profile continues to improve, Colombia is rapidly evolving into one of Latin America's highest-potential consumer markets. 

From retail to soft drinks, foreign companies are paying more attention to opportunities in Colombia, underscoring the progress the country has been making. 

We believe the best is yet to come; as long as the political situation remains stable, both staple and discretionary consumer goods firms will remain well placed for growth. 

This is especially true given that Colombia has largely taken a backseat in recent years, with multinational food and drink investors primarily focused on the standout Latin American economies of Brazil and Chile.

Headline Industry Data (in local currency)

- 2.014 per capita food consumption = +7.9% year-on-year (y-o-y); forecast compound annual growth rate (CAGR) 2014-2017 = +7.4%.
- 2.014 alcoholic drink sales value = +5.8% y-o-y; forecast CAGR 2014-2017 = +4.5%.
- 2.014 soft drink sales value = +9.7% y-o-y; forecast CAGR 2014-2017 = +7.0%.
- 2.014 mass grocery retail sales = +9.8% y-o-y; forecast CAGR 2014-to 2017 = +10.3%.

Starbucks To Open First Store In Colombia: Starbucks says it will open its first cafe in Colombia, where the popular Juan Valdez chain has a very firm foothold. 

The Seattle-based chain says the Bogota store will open in the first half of 2.014 and be operated through a joint venture between the company's Latin American franchisee, Alsea, and the food company Grupo Nutresa. 

Starbucks says it has "aggressive plans" to open cafes across Colombia over the next five years. CEO Howard Schultz says Starbucks has discussed with Colombia's coffee federation increasing its use of Colombian coffee worldwide by about 20 percent over the next three years. 

The federation is a partner in the Juan Valdez chain, which has more than 225 shops, mostly in Colombia. Starbucks says it has more than 650 stores in Latin America.

Coca-Cola Femsa Breaks Ground On $200mn Bottling Plant In Colombia: Mexico's Coca-Cola Femsa said it broke ground on a $200 million bottling plant in Tocancipa, a city in central Colombia. 

The new plant will be in operation in late 2014, the Mexican corporation, considered the world's largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola products in terms of sales volume, said. 

The bottling plant is in Parque Industrial Femsa, "the first cluster for non-alcoholic beverages in the country," the company said. 

The plant "will feature state-of-the-art design and technology, and will be considered green because it will have the highest sustainability standards," Coca-Cola Femsa said. 

The new bottling plant will create 150 direct jobs and other indirect jobs, Coca-Cola Femsa said. 

The company currently has bottling plants in Bogotá, Medellin, Bucaramanga, Barranquilla, Cali and La Calera.

Berny Polanía

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