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Wal-Mart, Local Manufacturers Ready To Do $20 Million Of Business
April trade fair being planned to set up sales opportunities
By MARIALBA MARTINEZ
March 6, 2003
The Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association (PRMA), in conjunction with the Puerto Rico Products Association (PRPA), has chosen 14 local food manufacturers to market two products each to Wal-Mart during an April trade fair at the megaretailers Arkansas headquarters, said PRMA President Manuel Cidre.
The companies, which may number 20 by the time PRMA completes the screening process, will each be ready to market and export two of their products for distribution in 22 Wal-Mart retail stores in Chicago, Miami, and New York in the next three to six months. The company are expected to export at least 250 containers of products and to make an estimated $1 million or more each in sales in the first year.
"Wal-Marts global purchasing department met with us four months ago to discuss the possibility of exporting local products to its retail stores on the U.S. mainland," said Cidre. "We realized we would need to expose them to the sales potential of their Hispanic markets and to the food habits of Hispanics. This model program is also a start to integrating Puerto Rican products in other markets, not necessarily Hispanic."
PRMAs screening process includes identifying local companies that are already exporting their products to the U.S. or to other foreign countries. In addition, each companys infrastructure must be ready to accommodate the immediate growth demanded by a Wal-Mart contract.
"We initially invited 47 companies to this program and received 23 responses," said Jose Muratti, PRMA director of research & legislation. "What is most important is that a lot of companies are already exporting their products and even experiencing what is called a crossover, where non-Hispanic populations are buying their products."
Puerto Rican foods ready for distribution throughout the U.S. mainland include breaded beefsteak and chicken, bread dough, cakes, coffee (decaffeinated), cookies, dry sausage, gourmet sweets, ham, juices, pastry dough, soda crackers, tropical soft drinks, and turnovers.
The organizing group is made up of PRMAs Cidre, Executive Vice President William Riefkohl, and Muratti; PRPA President Rolando Avila; Barma Food General Manager Sandra Barbeito; and Campofresco President Julio Mendez.
Food Manufacturers Participating in Wal-Mart Trade Fair
As of March 3, 2003
EuroCaribe Packing (Serranito)
Jugos del Centro
Productos La Aguadillana
RicoChef Food Products Inc.
Trofima Corp.-Granossa (Arroz Daqui)
This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.