McDonald's is an established player here, entering the market 19 years ago and today boasting 296 stores. Its marketing strategy of fast-food purveyor to the middle- and upper-classes was upset three years ago with the mass migration of Brazilians from poverty into the C and D socioeconomic classes following the introduction of a new currency and economic reform package that stabilized the economy.
Cheap food is now king, with many fast foods outlets offering meals for less than a dollar. Competition has intensified. Twenty years ago, there were 300,000 restaurants, bars and other food outlets in the country; now there are 756,000.
Copyright April 1998, Crain Communications Inc.