Brazilian football club Corinthians recently announced that it will open a restaurant in São Paulo. Developed as a franchise, the club plans to open an estimated 130 restaurants over the next few years. Operating as a fast-food chain, the restaurants will boast resemblances to the team including the Corinthians’ iconic black and white colours and pictures telling the club’s history on the walls. Mintel research indicates that 82% of Brazilians eat out, indicating the good market opportunity for this new enterprise.

Corinthian’s strategy of moving to the foodservice business fits with the Mintel Trend ‘Extend my Brand’. Not new to brand extensions, the football club announced a cemetery campaign last year where Corinthian fans can be buried alongside famous players and have a funeral with the club’s anthem. While the concept of brand extensions is hardly a novel concept, it has taken on new meaning in recent years, especially in the wake of the recession which has forced companies to look for new sources of revenue. For Corinthians, the recent branding endeavors are an effort to tap their huge fanbase in hopes consumers are willing to choose a brand they are not only familiar with, but one they love.

On the other hand, despite the current economic downturn in Brazil, Mintel research shows that 27% of consumers who have the habit of eating out agree with the statement, “It is worth spending more to eat at restaurants where the food is tastier,” showing that taste is important and worthy of spending more money for some consumers. Furthermore, according to Mintel’s The Time-Pressed Consumer Brazil 2015 report, 21% of Brazilians said, “I am interested in foods that I can eat quickly,” which highlights an opportunity for restaurants following the fast food model.

The economic crisis is already affecting Brazilian’s eating out habits, but more than focusing on price alone, it is important that the foodservice sector is aware that low price does not necessarily guarantee consumer loyalty. Many consumers consider eating out a leisure activity, and Corinthians is looking to make the experience of eating out fun by emphasizing the importance of an enjoyable environment. For the 35% of Brazilians who like eating out to change their routine, a restaurant from one of the most popular football clubs in the country sounds promising.

Mintel’s, Senior Analyst, Naira Sato has been with Mintel since 2012. With over ten years experience in research, she previously worked for companies including Millward Brown, Motorola and Unilever, analyzing Brazilian and Latin American consumers, working with projects brand and market development. She is frequently a key speaker at Vitafoods South America.

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