Diageo will follow its Ypioca purchase in Brazil with a push to up its presence across the country

Diageo will follow its Ypioca purchase in Brazil with a push to up its presence across the country

The head of Diageo's operations in Brazil has said that the company is set to expand its distribution coverage, to exploit the burgeoning middle class in the country.

The firm, which announced the purchase of cachaca brand Ypioca in Brazil earlier this year, will add six more cities with populations of over 1m to its distribution footprint between now and the end of next year. Whilst Diageo's presence is strong in the cities of Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, the firm is targeting Recife, Salvador, Goiana, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba and Florianopolis in 2013.

Speaking at this year's investor conference in Miami earlier today (6 November), Diageo's MD of Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, Olga Martinez Garcia, said that the purchase of Ypioca has set the scene for the firm to improve its distribution in the coming months.

The new route to market will include 61 distributors, 5,800 indirect sales force and a point-of-sale presence of 270,000 covering 5,500 cities, Martinez Garcia said. The programme will concentrate on the north and north-east of the country.

“Brazil has been frequently talked about as being the country of the future,” said Martinez Garcia. “We believe it is now the country of the present. We are confident that our target of GBP1bn (US$1.60bn) in net sales by fiscal 2017 is fully achievable.”

Brazil is the largest market for Diageo's Johnnie Walker Red Label Scotch whisky variant and the third biggest market for Smirnoff vodka.