The entrance in effect of CAFTA-RD implied a tariff reduction of 15% to 11%, for U.S. beers. This tariff will be gradually reduced to 0%, at a rate of 1% per year. Currently, most imports come from Mexico and Nicaragua.
Even though in some cases foreign beer is sold at lower prices than domestic ones, it is generally more expensive.
In an article in ElFinancierocr.com, Natalia Chavarría, Marketing Manager at Agencia Feduro, importer of North American beer Miller, acknowledged the tax advantages, but stated that "this cost advantage was used to generate promotions and compensate increases in costs. For brand purposes, they refrain from using the same price as domestic ones, as they consider it has higher quality".
Despite the impending elimination of tariffs on foreign brands, its dominance of the local market will continue.
The Lindo Morales brothers formed the Florida Ice and Farm Company in September 1908, not even they imagine that the company would take off like eagle and gain almost "imperial" like dominance of the Costa Rican beer market.
Since entering the Chinese market in January, the Costa Rican brewer has expanded its reach to six provinces.
To date they have exported 50 containers, each one with 1.512 boxes of 24 bottles, reported Gisela Sánchez, company executive.
"The company [Florida Ice & Farm] entered China by signing an alliance with brewer Tsingtao and also with distribution company Powsun, one of the top dealers of that brand in the Asian country", reported Nacion.com.
The Mexican Corporation Coca-Cola FEMSA announced it has completed the acquisition of Panama's "Grupo Industrias Lácteas", parent company of "Estrella Azul", "Conservas Panameñas" and "Plásticos Modernos".
This is Coca Cola's first foray into the milk and dairy industry, which is one of the largest and most dynamic segments of the non-alcoholic beverages market in Latin America.
An increase in the consumption of craft beer has led the Florida Ice and Farm corporation to enter this niche market, where it is expected that the upward trend will continue.
Gisela Sánchez, director of corporate relations at Florida Ice and Farm, told Elfinancierocr.com that the company "... has decided to invest in creating a small craft beer business, completely independent of Cervecería Costa Rica."
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