Lasco signs distribution deal in Panama
Lasco Manufacturing Ltd has signed a distributor to promote and retail its products in Panama.
The company’s flagship Lasco Food Drink is now available in two major supermarkets chains in the Central American county — Super Xtra and Machetazo — as well as 28 other retailers. The soy-based beverage is marketed as an excellent source of protein, calcium, iron, among other nutrients.
The product is currently produced in carrot, cherry berry, chocolate, creamy malt, pineapple orange, peanut punch, strawberry, and vanilla flavours.
Lasco Manufacturing inked the distribution deal after participating in a Jamaica Promotions Ccorporation (Jampro)-led trade mission to Panama last year.
Market Development Manager Cornelia Walters-Jones, in a press release, noted that Lasco was pleased with the development, and that Jampro has assisted the company with getting the products into Panama.
"There was a Jampro trade mission before my entrance to Lasco (January 2016) where Diane Wilson and Jorge Vega participated and met with a number of food distributors, including our current distributor, Si Es Natural SA," Walters-Jones said.
"I then joined them in March for Expocomer 2016 in Panama, where we then finalised our decision."
Lasco now hopes to expand its reach in Panama by adding its Lasoy line, instant chocolate, and the recently launched desert product – Ice Dream – to its offerings in the country.
Once bogged down in a reputation for corruption and criminality, Panama — a country of 3.7 million people — is now heralded as the Singapore of the Americas. The country has exceptional economic growth of more than five per cent, gross domestic product of roughly US$55 billion, and per capita income (using purchasing power parity) of about US$22,000.
The widening of the Panama Canal at a cost of some US$5.25 billion has further improved the country’s ability to sell itself as an ideal location for the transshipment of goods.
Vice-president of Export and Market Development at Jampro, Robert Scott, said that the agency had been steadily creating opportunities for local companies in Panama through the Expocomer trade show, which last year generated approximately US$131 million and received over 12,000 attendees.
He said the agency was using the show to market Jamaican companies, as it provided a gateway into the Central American market, which is estimated to rapidly expand because of the widening of the Panama Canal.
"Jampro sees great opportunities for Jamaican products in this market and we have been working with the Jamaica Honorary Consul in Panama, government stakeholders, and regulatory agencies to give Jamaican companies more access to Panama," Scott reasoned.
"With Lasco and other companies’ success, we see that the pathway is now becoming clearer for Jamaican products to get on Panamanian shelves, which is crucial as Panama is an access point to the Central American region. We are pleased that Lasco has had this achievement and hope our other clients will follow suit."
– Karena Bennett