TCBY & Mrs. Fields Explore India and the ABF Franchising Show
Olá! I just returned from an amazing trip that took me to Brazil and India. It is always our practice to do an in-depth visit whenever we are expanding into a new country to learn as much as we can from the local master franchisors. Today, I’ll discuss our trip to Brazil. My next post will share the details of our trip to India.
In Brazil we attended the ABF Franchising Show in Sao Paulo. We were one of only a handful of US brands represented. There were 35,000 attendees at the show, most of which were looking to become a franchisee. While this isn’t our target audience of master franchisors, we felt our presence at this show helped convey that TCBY and Mrs. Fields are here to stay and was a nice opportunity to introduce both brands to Brazil.
We took full advantage of the fact there were 2,000 exhibitors at ABF. Using several Portuguese translators, we interviewed exhibitors to gauge their level of interest in TCBY and Mrs. Fields, their knowledge of our products, and their expertise in distribution channels and opportunities in Brazil. We were able to set up appointments to visit some franchisors to develop strategy for bringing our brand to Brazil and to meet our trip objectives:
- Identify potential partners with high business experience, established food distribution, strong market and government regulations knowledge, experience introducing American brands, and successful presence in the marketplace
- Make it clear that TCBY is committed to growing (and staying) in Brazil
- Study local competitive brands
- Learn the economic challenges facing the market
- Discuss how the brand might be launched
The Brazilian market is seeking healthy options, with the country’s government pushing the adoption of a healthier lifestyle. The local government has even gone so far as to fund company paid employee lunch programs. Brazilians view yogurt as a healthy food choice and not as an alternative to ice cream like we do here in the US. This health-conscious mindset combined with our proven success in the US and other countries has us very confident that TCBY will become Brazil’s “the country’s best yogurt.”