“Branded” products are an old longing for Cubans, especially since the economic crisis of the 1990s. On the black-market the items of Dove, AX, Colgate, and firms as such have a high demand and exorbitant prices.
The Unilever Company, marketer in half the world of these and other brands, appears to be a solution to revive its country’s cosmetics industry, and for ordinary citizens who cannot spend their salary in a shampoo and conditioner set.
This entity, with 120 years of history, is one of the leading companies in food, personal care and household cleaning, as it markets over 400 brands and operates in about 190 countries.
On November 4, 2016, Unilever factory’s first stone was placed in Mariel’s Special Zone (MSZ), in Cuba. The Dutch company had to give in to the Portfolio of opportunities’ demands to be able to step on the “Promised Land” in which the Island became after the political meltdown with the Obama administration.
It is worth mentioning that the offshoot of that union, the joint company Unilever Suchel S.A., was one of the first entities to delimit its territory in MSZ, with an area of 40 thousand square meters and employment opportunities for about 300 people.
According to the image of the European part of betting on sustainable development and committed to a positive environmental and social impact, its factory will have a wastewater treatment plant that will allow part of this resource to be reused for irrigation.
Another manufacturing center’s novelty will be its high efficiency steam generator system, designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and its harmful effects on the atmosphere.
According to Cuban official press’ reports, the cost of the factory’s total investment exceeded 35 million dollars.
Almost two years after the tulips “planted the flag”, the production center’s inauguration has not yet been confirmed, even though all the official reports foresaw that the opening would be at the beginning of 2018.
The ultimate goal is that from the factory in Mariel personal hygiene articles are produced, and for the home, international prestige brands and known by the Cuban public, such as Rexona, Omo, Close Up, Sedal and Lux.
However, and for the benefit of Cubans, Unilever Suchel S.A. is providing the unsupplied counters of the state shops in the Greater Antilles.
On the subject, Liz Martinez Delgado, specialist in Marketing of the aforesaid company, told Cuban media that since July 2017, they began to incorporate in the stores articles of the mentioned brands, from a special permission obtained to import them until the end of the plant’s assembly.
The mixed company introduced in the country, for example, the range of Lux and Rexona Antibacterial soaps, the deodorants of the same line, Close Up and Pepsodent dentifrices, and Sedal shampoo varieties at a reasonable price compared with other legal and illegal market options.
These names are not really strange, because Unilever has been selling them in the country since 1994, although the commercial operations were quite intermittent and there was never any thought of building a production center of their own.
On the other hand, in the context of the 35th International Fair of Havana, Mecca of business in the island, Unilever Suchel S.A. promoted a new product for the domestic market: Sedal Keratin with antioxidants, for hair cleaning.
In the case of household products, in the chain stores of the Cuban State -TRD, Cimex and Caracol-, there are also Omo and Surf brand detergents, and to wash the clothes the Pure soap and the Comfort fabric softener.
Certainly, the opening of a factory would cement the Cubans’ trust in Unilever. Nevertheless, “while they are waiting”, the population continues with its philosophy of buying for today and saving … in case they leave again.Read more Inbest