Santa Cruz, Bolivia
We visited a key Bolivian plant of Coca-Cola Embonor, a company we bought earlier this year that is the Coke bottler in Bolivia (and also controls most of Chile outside of Santiago). Business is progressing well for Embonor in Bolivia, as per capita consumption of Coke products continues to grow. In fact, this facility is currently doubling its cold fill capacity and is adding a Tetra Pak hot fill line to introduce a new branded juice.
Other Observations from Santa Cruz
- Our previous trips have shown that Nestle executes well in the emerging markets. This excellence was also the case in Lima, as the D’Anafria brand was widely available and their freezers were prevalent in the mom-and-pop stores.
- Private “buses” are an important mode of low-cost transportation in both Peru and Bolivia. It consists of almost-always-packed micro-buses (that are really large vans) with a driver and a porter that hangs out of the window calling stops for passengers and prospective pick-ups. It is a hectic system and hard to discern from the outside, but its efficiency and cost effectiveness versus other alternatives makes it vital for a big percentage of the population.
- We encountered several open air cafeterias while in Bolivia, including this one in downtown Santa Cruz. It was composed of two dozen or more distinct booths (around 15 feet long by 8 foot deep “kitchens” surrounded by counter seating) that seemed largely undifferentiated to the untrained eye, and certainly did not have unique branding of any sort. Yet, it was clear that people had their favorite restaurant, and there appeared to be regulars for many of them.
- Like in many town squares in Latin America, Catholic cathedrals and churches dominated the downtown square in Santa Cruz. The traffic was steady in most, and we experienced a particular touching scene when what appeared to be a mother praying alongside her disabled son.