Thursday, June 1, 2023

Is the iPhone Chinese or gringo? What country is Presidente beer from? Where is Coca Cola from?

What is it that defines the nationality or origin of a product or a company in such a global world, where the line between one interpretation and another is so thin, practically invisible? It is very probable that this question has been posed more than once at the tables of the marketers, economists, communication strategists, entrepreneurs and decision makers around the world.

Even the most patriotic may avoid identifying a product as “national of their country” if the investors are foreigners, while for the capitalists, those who are more adapted to the development of companies as agents that add value to the economy, regardless of the nationality of the capital, it is enough for them that the product is manufactured or prepared in a territory to classify it as local. So what about those whose ingredients and parts come from various places?

This thing about brands, companies, investment and capital is extremely interesting and could lead many to make mistakes without wanting to. Today, due to the globalization of markets, where it is no longer known where a product is from, even if we suppose so, determining the nationality of a brand, a product or a company could generate confusion. It is very likely that everything will work out according to the approach or parameters that we use to reach an agreement. Or not?

How to treat the case brands of vehicles, clothing and technological products, since they are manufactured in various markets, generating a productive chain that crosses the borders of the countries? The same happens with food and consumer products, especially personal and household hygiene. Is it the capital, the origin of the brand, its place of manufacture or the raw materials that define your nationality?

Dominican case

When it comes to beer, Presidente is a symbol for Dominicans. It happens the same in other places. It could be said that seeing it in any country, because it is already in many parts of the world, generates a feeling of Dominicanness and pride. It is a brand that, although it emerged under the umbrella of the dictatorship of Rafael Leónidas Trujillo (1935) and in his honor, became a national label.

Has this beer always been Dominican? Is it now? These are two questions that need to be explained. The four basic ingredients of beer are: water, malt, hops and yeast. It is worth noting, as an additional contribution, that it is becoming more and more common to use corn in the production of beers, since it increases the proportion of carbohydrates in the brewer’s wort with respect to proteins and, with them, obtain a product with softer organoleptic characteristics.

Due to the geographical position of the Dominican Republic, it is impossible to think that there is malt (barley) and hops here. Regarding corn, the Dominican Republic imports around 1,400,000 tons per year, of which 60% is imported by poultry farmers. The rest is for other uses, especially brewing.

It is worth noting that the malt is a moistened, germinated, dried and roasted barley grain, through a process that is carried out in the industrial facilities that the factories own. It ranks fourth among cereals, after wheat, corn and rice, due to the level of demand.

What if the Presidente beer stopped being Dominican because its current investors (owners) are no longer mostly Dominican? There are consumers who are not interested in knowing if a product is of local origin or not. Their focus is on value for money. In this case, it should also be mentioned that although not all the inputs with which this beer is made are local, it does generate jobs, a productive chain and the human talent is Dominican, in addition to the fact that it is made in the national territory.

But there is another example of a brand of beer recently launched on the Dominican market. Its promoters, perhaps trying to “take advantage” of the fact that Presidente is no longer a local capital, seek to “harvest the feeling of Dominicanness” with a simple slogan, although in marketing terms it is not so simple to “change the chip” of a market that has been with a brand for more than 80 years.

The topic that comes up for the República beer, whose slogan is “La tuya”. However, you also have to wonder where the production plant is located. Is it imported and bottled here in the Dominican Republic? Therefore, the capital is not the only thing that determines the denomination of origin of a product (and of the brand), because even if its owners are Dominicans, other “ingredients” would have to be seen.

Apple and Coke

The truth is that today we can affirm that, starting from the place of foundation, a brand is from a country certain, but not the product that it sells in the markets. Whether for a matter related to production costs, for the availability of human capital, for potential demand, for the geographical position with respect to the target markets (nearshoring) or for a particular decision of the investors, the denomination of origin of a product (as it should be called) turns out to be a nebula from the point of view of the concept itself.

The world renowned brand iphone, For example, it is owned by Manzana. Now, where are your products designed, produced, assembled, programmed and marketed? How many suppliers does this company have and where are they located? We know that it is of US capital because its headquarters are in Apple Park, in Cupertino, (California, USA). However, today it could be euphemistic to say that his products are from the United States. It is worth asking the following here: What is the denomination of origin of the iPhone?

The same could be said in the case of Coca Cola, that after being founded in USA (Atlanta, 5/8/1886) and initially dedicating itself only to the elaboration of a product, today it is recognized as a company dedicated to the production and commercialization of various types of beverages. In fact, Coca Cola, as a product, is sold in more than 200 countries and/or territories. Where is it made? It is difficult to say an exact location, since there are more than 900 plants around the world.

Just like Apple’s references, with its products from hardware and software, and Coca Cola, as a company that markets hundreds of beverages, are the brands of food products. Nestlé is a special case that could also be taken as an example, since it is produced in various countries.

The same happens with toothpastes, soaps, detergents, medicines, footwear, clothing and vehicles, the latter among the most emblematic. From which countries are the brands Toyota, Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Nissan, Chevrolet, Brilliance, Isuzu, Kia, Hyundai, Yamaha, Tata, BMW, Lexus, Mack, Honda, Volkswagen, Ford, Chevrolet, Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley and Porsche, among others? The answer can be simple or complex. Logically they are from the country of origin, but the products that carry them must say the place where they were manufactured.

Seal Made in Dominican Republic

It is a service established by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Mipymes (MICM), which seeks to highlight, promote and distinguish what is done in the Dominican Republic, because behind each product there is a story that characterizes us.

The state entity highlights that “Made in the Dominican Republic” is a distinctive, unique and differentiated seal owned by the MICM, which will authorize its use to those industries that meet the requirements established for the purposes. It is a graphic representation by means of a logo, under which the products of local manufacture and free zones of the Dominican Republic are identified and recognized.

The requirements are the following:

  • Be a local manufacturing industry or free zones.
    Have an updated Industrial Registry, issued by the Center for Industrial Development and Competitiveness (Proindustria).
  • Have a current Sanitary Registry, issued by the General Directorate of Medicines, Food and Health Products (Digemaps) (applies to medicines, food and health products).
    Be registered in the Local Manufacturing Directory (DML) of the MICM. (This requirement does not apply to free zones).
  • Complete the application form for the acquisition of the seal.
    Current certification from the General Directorate of Internal Taxes (DGII), which certifies that the applicant is up to date in compliance with their tax obligations.
  • Current certification from the Social Security Treasury (TSS), which certifies that the applicant is up to date in compliance with their social security obligations.
  • Remission of the graphic art of the product with the inclusion of the logo of the seal in the different products for which the industry requests the License of Use of the Seal Made in the Dominican Republic.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest article