Costa Rica: Attractive Consumer Market

The crisis in industrialized economies is leading large international brands to look towards countries like Costa Rica, where consumption is growing and becoming sophisticated.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The developed world's economic crisis has forced multinational companies to set their sights on new markets which are emerging and dynamic, and have a sufficient number of consumers with high purchasing power to do business with their brands.

One of those markets is Costa Rica, where GDP per capita rose from $6,488 in 2009 to $8,488 in 2011, the highest in Central America, according to an IMF report cited by Elfinancierocr.com.

Up until February 2012, nine commercial brands have arrived in the food, beverage and retail sectors.

"Forever 21, Gap and Banana Republic are coming to compete in the clothing and unisex accessories sectors, Starbucks, Dunkin 'Donuts and Cosi will do the same in the beverage industry, Smash Burger and Chili's will introduce the concept of "casual dining" and Baskin Robbins is entering the arena of ice cream parlors. Last year fast food franchises such as Popeye's and Carl's Junior, also joined the ranks along with the lingerie shop Victoria's Secret", reported the website.

What is striking about the expansion of global brands in Costa Rica is that their entry is via way of franchising, which exploits the high brand recognition of these names amongst large sections of the Costa Rican middle class.

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