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07 December 2023

Café Pele renews attempt to enter Middle East market

By VM Sathish



A leading Brazilian coffee company is drawing up revised plans to penetrate the Middle East market with Café Pele, an instant coffee brand named after the legendary football player.


Cacique Group, the company behind the brand, exhibited 12 types of Café Pele coffee at the Brazilian pavilion at Gulfood 2008.


“Café Pele was introduced in the UAE and Middle East market in 2005, but Pele fans did not take it as the company expected,” manager Agrelia Andrade said.


We introduced the brand in the UAE three years ago, but the local partner was not successful in promoting the product. Now we are looking for a better partner who can sell the brand. Café Pele will be introduced again in the Middle East market, where the Brazilian footballer is very popular.”


Cacique has a contract with Pele for using his name.


Café Pele coffee products marketed by Cicique include dried, roasted and ground coffee, cappuccino, freeze dried coffee and roasted beans. The football star, who is also the face of Pfizer’s viagra, receives royalties for using his name.


Andrade blamed the product’s initial flop in the region on the depreciation of the US dollar and the increased price of the instant coffee.


However, she said the company is hoping strong marketing can overcome the setback. “Everybody knows Pele and our product is good. We are looking for a strong partner to market Café Pele in the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries where football is a popular game.”


Brazilian coffee exports, Andrade said, will no longer be in US dollars and will be priced in euros to protect the major export. Cacique is the largest exporter of Brazilian instant coffee to Russia and its annual shipments of frozen coffee to Japan comes to 1,000 tonnes.


Last Friday, Pele visited the UAE to discuss creating a Pele Football Academy to train five to 18-year-olds to play the sport. It was the footballer’s second visit to the UAE.