Wednesday 5 May 2021

Cacique Guaro, A Tarnished Brand?

Cacique Guaro is the “guaro de los Ticos”. At least it once was. The brand was also the “star product” and the financial flow of the Fábrica Nacional de Licores (FANAL) – National Liquor Factory – and that kept afloat its parent company, the state institution, the Consejo Nacional de Producción (CNP) – National Production Council.

The Cacique Guaro is a sugar cane liquor of high purity and is, was, the best selling distilled spirit in Costa Rica. As it has a neutral taste, guaro can be consumed pure or combined (‘ligado’ in Spanish) with any natural or artificial mixing, such as soda.

- Advertisement -

The product was conceived in 1853 by the FANAL, produced and sold in barrels to agencies, which in turn placed it in bars and other outlets in the containers provided by clients. The alcohol content was 35°.

Since August 1980, FANAL has marketed the liquor in a one-liter glass bottle with a low ABV of 30° and since then is sold under the name of Guaro Cacique (with a red label). Cacique is also available in 750 ml (glass) and 365 ml (plastic) bottles often called “Pacha”.

The Cacique Superior (with black label) is 35 abv/70 proof. Its design is based on high purity rubbing alcohol and subjected to further purification, in which the liquor is filtered through activated carbon to increase its purity and perfect its aroma.

The guaro in Costa Rica is associated with the name Cacique, that the indigenous society refers to the leader of the tribe and sometimes called “Cuatro Plumas”, for the four feathered Indian Cacique on the label. Even though the real name is “Guaro Cacique”, people in Costa Rica just call it “Guaro”.

- Advertisement -

More: Are Tourists In Costa Rica Getting Screwed Over? You Decide!

But is Guaro Cacique still the “guaro de los Ticos”?

According to figures, sales have dropped. Big time. The star product sales went from 1.6 million boxes of 12 liters, in 2000, to 450,000 a year now (a decrease of 72%).

This situation has further depressed the plummeting finances of the CNP, which to rescue its finances is betting on a new product, ethanol.

The CNP is pitching ethanol to the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo (Recope) – Costa Rican Refinery – to be used in more environmentally friendly fuel.

- Advertisement -

“Diversification must be. If we do not transform, we disappear. The main support of the CNP is FANAL. If FANAL depends on a product (guaro Cacique) that is disappearing, leaving or in a lesser market, we get into trouble. We have to have the vision to diversify FANAL to continue giving support to the programs of the CNP “, indicated Rogis Bermúdez, president of the CNP.

But why have sales fallen so much?

According to data from the Policía de Control Fiscal (PCF) – Tax Police – it is contraband. The PCF reports the seizure of contraband liquors went up. For example, in 2010, 15,000 liters were confiscated; in 2016 that figure increased to 285,000 liters.

Another problem is that since 2017, Guaro Cacique ceased to be an export product due to a decision of the CNP Board of Directors. The decision was taken after a criminal investigation was opened to determine if there were irregularities in granting discounts and exports of the product.

The state company also blames the creation of “diverse legislation related to the scope of the establishment of laws on liquor-soft drinks-beers; as well as complementary guidelines of the Tax Administration Code,” that caused a significant detriment in Fanal’s competitiveness.

In 2017, the CNP recorded a loss of ¢5.1 billion colones: ¢1.9 CNP and ¢3.2 FANAL.

At stake are the jobs of 420 people which depend on the central government shoring up CNP finances, diminishing over the years as the government faces its own financial problems.

For example, in 2014 the CNP received a financial injection of ¢7.9 billion, while in 2017, only ¢200 million.

According to Bermudez, the FANAL has a capacity to produce 10,000 liters of ethanol daily, which would allow them to put their entire plant to work, which currently is working at half capacity or stopped 50% of the time, depending on your point of view.

If you have followed this story so far, you are wondering why doesn’t the FANAL diversify, why depend on one brand or product?

Which bring us to the real problem of this state-run operation.

The Cacique brand represents only 26% of the FANAL production, the other 74% is focused on the production of antiseptic alcohol, alcohol for the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS), the state medical service, some creams such as Perfect Love, Mint and Triple Sec, flavorings and the drink known as “chiliguaro”.

Can you guess what the real problem is?

Drink up. Next time you are in the grocery store, pick up a box of guaro. At the local watering hole, don’t order a Johnny or Jim, get a guaro instead.

- Advertisement -

FACT CHECK:
We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Ricohttp://www.theqmedia.com
"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Price of Tomato beginning to return to normal

QCOSTARICA - This report may seem odd to some, but not...

The Unusual Case of the FANAL

OPINION - The FANAL has temporarily stops focusing on producing its...

MOST READ

Medium-Term Costa Rican Vacation Renter Represents a New Kind of Traveler, say Tourism Experts

What do you prefer, accommodation-wise, when you go on vacation? Do you like a super-luxury hotel where you can indulge your every whim in the...

The Essence of Tilarán

Some landscapes seem too beautiful to be true ... But they are! The Arenal volcano is seen from Tliarán. Joaquin Murillo: "I took the photo yesterday...

What to watch for to be sure you get the vaccine

QCOSTARICA - The moment has arrived to get the vaccine. With the apparent "irregular" vaccination in the health area of the Tres Rios made...

“There can be no divorce between economy and health”

QCOSTARICA - Following is an opinion piece by Dr. Rodolfo Hernández Gómez, former director of the National Children's Hospital and former presidential 2018 presidential...

Colombia’s Protests Against President Duque Explained

QCOLOMBIA – Nineteen people have died and hundreds more have been injured in protests in Colombia against President Iván Duque Márquez’s tax bill, aimed...

Dra. Daniela Ruiz, the pediatrician and dermatologist who breaks paradigms

TODAY COSTA RICA - Despite the fact that she does not consider herself an influencer, Dr. Daniela Ruiz Guzmán has grown by leaps and...

Commuter train derails in Pavas

QCOSTARICA - One of the old Apolo trains derailed this Wednesday afternoon in Pavas, San José. The incident took place near Pecosa, in Villa...

San Jose and Central Valley woke up this morning to closures and vehicular restrictions

QCOSTARICA - Due to the increase in covid infections in the middle of the third pandemic wave, the Government ordered the closure of non-essential...

Ruta 27 this Friday collapsed due to the number of vehicles heading to the Pacific

QCOSTARICA - Globalvía, the concessionaire of ruta 27 to Caldera, reported Friday at least three points of road collapse on the road due to...

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST!

Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.