FRANCE

We have been hearing about a Chinese ‘invasion’ of French wineries for years. Today, it seems to be quite real. More than 100 vineyards in Bordeaux have been acquired by Chinese businessmen, representing slightly less than 2% of the total area. Thirty new operations have begun over the past three years, clearly showing this rising trend is here to stay. They are also reflecting China’s role as the region’s largest export market, with an annual consumption of nearly 70 million bottles. Will these Chinese businessmen ever invade the Spanish market? Winemakers are quite skeptical. But the fact is that nobody would frown upon an influx of cash during such difficult times for the industry.

USA

Created in 1971 as part of a McDonald’s marketing campaign, ‘The Hamburglar’ has awaken from a 13-year slumber and is once again the shining star of the company’s commercials. With a revamped look, the Hamburglar is now a real human being who hides behind a mask, stirring both positive and negative comments across social media. This is McDonald’s latest attempt to improve its situation in the US market, which accounts for 40% of its global profits. Yet, it has gotten some worrying numbers during the year’s first quarter: 11% fall in sales, a figure that translates into 30% down in terms of profit. That has led the company to close down 700 of its locations throughout 2015. In global terms, another one of McDonald’s goals is to raise the number of its franchises from 81%, currently, up to 90%. At the same time, the company still aims to open 1,000 new restaurants a year, in order to reach its goal of having 39,000 restaurants by 2018.

SPAIN

It’s only been a couple of months, so you are excused if you ignore the fact Grupo Gallina Blanca Star is now going by the name GF Foods. No, it’s not that brands like Avecrem, Jumbo, Star or Gallina Blanca are disappearing. It’s just that they are going through a corporative image makeover by Summa consulting, aimed at increasing their international presence. For 75 years, GF Foods has been standing out as one of the most prominent Spanish companies worldwide, present in more than thirty countries (especially in Africa), and with a turnover of 629 million euros in 2014.

BURGOS (SPAIN)

The terrible fire that destroyed Campofrío’s factory in Burgos last November undoubtedly inspired a wave of sympathy from the public. In addition to its heart-felt Christmas ad, the company—which is still thriving—impressed the public by showing a swift response and strong commitment to relocating absolutely all staff members who worked at the destroyed plant, as soon as the incident took place. In terms of numbers, Campofrío plans on investing 215 million euros to build a new factory by 2016. It will boast a 78,000 m2 space and have a production capacity of 100,000 tons, much higher than the 60,000 of the plant destroyed by the fire.