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Hunting profits in Cuba: booming products remain unpackaged

Hunting profits in Cuba: booming products remain unpackaged

Posted by PanamericanWorld on February 25, 2014

As the communist island progressively opens doors to business countrywide, most foreign investors are hunting profitable opportunities in little known niches. A little advice for them: explore the packaging industry. For those who already hold experience and facilities in the area, Cuba is a good choice for expanding activities.

In 2013, the Cuban government performed a diagnosis of the country’s main challenges and potential areas of development. Export industries will bloom on the island, as a consequence of the first special development zone recently launched in Mariel port, and local production is expected to flourish, mainly in processed food products. But one fact poses a big challenge: half of local products currently lack proper packaging. This year, Cuba will spend US $226MM in importing packages for food and pharmaceuticals. Moreover, the country aims to increase per capita consumption of packaged products by +42%.

In the meantime, industries have been forced to recycle and reuse paper, cardboard and plastic packages. Rum manufacturer Havana Club invests millions of dollars yearly in acquiring used bottles from other rum brands abroad, compromising the safety of its drinks. Cuban yogurt, coffee, beer, juice, fruits, legumes and compote, among other products, are in need of sizing, sanitary protection and a way to communicate useful information to the consumers. As a result, lines of production are undergoing modernization processes, which are currently focused on hygienic packaging, polyethylene bags and flexible plastic containers. Thus, profits are there for the taking.

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