Retail sometimes works in mysterious ways... Belgian supermarket chain Colruyt has found itself in growing demand in the Latin American country of Costa Rica - or at least its cheap private label beer, Cara Pils.
'Premium Belgian Pils'
According to Nico Mortier, who imports the beer into Costa Rica through his company Imbelco, says that Costa Ricans consider Cara Pils to be a high-quality Belgian beer - despite its reputation of a second-class beer in Belgium itself. Five years ago, he introduced Cara to the Central American country: "I noticed local beer was very expensive here, at 900 Costa Rican colones or about 1.4 euros, while a Costa Rican earns an average of just over two euros per hour", Mortier explains in Belgian newspaper De Standaard.
Today, Cara Pils is already available in more than 250 outlets in Costa Rica and costs just 500 colones (0.80 euros) per can. In Belgium, it only costs 33 cents. However, by Costa Rican standards it remains a cheap beer, assures Mortier. Colruyt's private label beers are now being sold in fifteen countries. "We mainly export to Central and West Africa and Kenya, but also to the Netherlands Antilles and Armenia", spokeswoman Hanne Poppe says.