Marsh Delivers Groceries to Havana

Aug 19, 2002

Ranging far outside its heartland base, Marsh International (division of Marsh Supermarkets, Indiana) delivered the first direct shipment of U.S. brand name products to Cuba in over 40 years.

Reuters reports that the shipment arrived in Havana yesterday and is part of $750,000 deal between Marsh and the Cuban government. Included in the initial shipment were Marsh private label butter, margarine, RTE cereals and tomato sauce.

Future shipments will include items from 140 categories including baby food, condiments, cookies, pasta, salted snacks and soup.

Marsh sees great potential in the Cuban market. Mohamed Bouras, director of
international sales for the company, said, “We hope to sell millions to Cuba
next year. We estimate our retail sales someday could reach $35 million.”

Moderator’s Comment: Should the U.S. lift the Cuban

This is a great deal for Marsh which has its hands full
competing with the likes of Wal-Mart, Kroger and Meijer among others in the
markets it serves.

While we’re happy for Marsh, we also realize that not
all businesses have the same opportunity when it comes to trading with Cuba.
Retailers such as Publix and Pathmark, for example, that serve large ethnic
Cuban populations opposed to the Castro regime would be punished by a loss of
business from those shoppers had they made a similar deal.

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