São Paulo – With the aim of achieving healthy eating and improving eating habits, Rodrigo Barros (pictured above), together with his partners Fernando Bueno and Victor Giansanti, founded the Poali restaurant between late 2015 and early 2016. The company’s current CEO, Rodrigo Barros, told ANBA Network of the company’s international expansion plans, which begin this year.
In 2023, the Brazilian business will reach 100% in Portugal, the United States and the United Arab Emirates. Seriously seeking to adapt to countries in terms of products and respecting local culture, but keeping the core business, the company wants to open three to four franchises in Florida, Colorado and Wisconsin, one in Dubai and one in Lisbon.
The idea of exporting the company came for two reasons: firstly because, according to the CEO, the company has already reached the necessary stage of maturity, and secondly, the company has achieved the growth expected for this year almost . we have always strived to ensure that the number of projects in Brazil is 100 new projects per year, a number that we are now reaching in the first half of this year, to be able to move to global deployment.
Today the brand is present in seventeen Brazilian states and has 29 franchisees in more than 80 partnership projects. The average cost per person at the national level is R$40, and although it varies greatly, the public is mainly made up of women, who like to eat healthy, aged between 35 and 45 and who have economic activities.
Executive Director of Boali in one of the branches
Portugal is the country closest to becoming a reality. Until April, Boali is expected to open its first franchise in the Lisbon region. In a later stage, the same group that transfers the brand to Portugal wishes to develop the activity in Spain.
“With the United States, we are looking and negotiating to be present in three states, with at least one concession in each region. The idea is to have the first Brazilian franchise still in the first half of 2023,” explains the CEO.
Since there is a more funded healthy food market in the United States, the intention of the founders is to take our healthy food menu and simply change the exterior of the store, customers there are more accustomed to consuming the product to eat at the office, on the street, on a walk or at home.
When it comes to Arab countries, the original intention was to start in Dubai, and indeed there were plans to open the first store in the Emirates, however, Barros believes the opportunities for Bawali can go far beyond the Emirates. .
“Enjoy these countries [العربية] With great purchasing power and great consumption potential, the West still does not attach importance to this region. We see a lot of global development that Dubai has experienced, but it is very small compared to the opportunities that exist in Arab countries, due to globalization and cultural development. Most of the regional brands are found there, but there are great opportunities for new global brands. We were made welcome by everyone we spoke to.
With the progress of negotiations with the various groups, the plan is now to carry out 55 projects within five years. Of this total, 20 projects are expected to take place in Saudi Arabia alone, with the rest in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman. This is expected to be the first store opening in the Arab world given this new plan, but plans may change as negotiations are still ongoing.
The idea of creating the nation’s first and largest healthy food chain today was inspired by another brand: Salad Creations. Among the four young men who brought this company from North America to Brazil in 2007 are Fernando Bueno and Victor Giansanti. Barros joined as an investor in 2013 and says that in the early 2000s healthy eating was starting to become a growing business in the United States, but when the company came to Brazil it was another unlikely option.
With this in mind, in 2015, Salad was bought in Brazil by a trio that became Boali, short for Boa Alimentaçao (good food). “When we created Boali, one of the first things we understood was that you couldn’t rely on Powers alone. So we created a salad company, marketing useful and healthy foods, but at the same time tasty and friendly foods that can make sense in the daily lives of Brazilians,” explains the CEO.
Therefore, in addition to salads in 2016, the first Boali restaurant, in Ribeirão Preto in the State of São Paulo, offered other food options such as: pancakes, rolls, burritos, bowls, desserts – with options of 70% cocoa chocolate and drinks such as in the form of tea, as well as natural juices and kombucha.
Despite the opening of this field in catering and food trade, Barros says that healthy food is still not very popular among Brazilians, mainly due to the difficulty of access and the lack of large-scale production. , and therefore lower prices. what we have done is to improve this access specifically, by allowing people to pay at Boali the same way they pay at other restaurants, where you would spend R$40 for a healthy snack and drink like in an ordinary restaurant.
Brazilians have become more aware of healthy foods and consumers are more concerned about eating healthier foods. However, processed foods are always consumed more because they are cheaper. This low price is only possible thanks to large-scale production.
For Baros, infrastructure, food education, food and food safety issues must gain importance so that healthy food takes its true place, increases the number of consumers and thus begins to be produced on a larger scale. .
As a business model focused on kiosks or stores in malls, as well as high street and company stores, the brand has reached 17 states nationwide. Boali’s headquarters, located in Alphaville, São Paulo, has more than five hundred employees. In 2029, the CEO’s idea is to conduct a global initial public offering to increase attention and move towards healthy eating.
Translated into Arabic by: Elias Hazeem