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Early last month, Alsea, the operator of Starbucks and Burger King outlets in Mexico, announced the purchase of Walmex’s restaurant division for US$630 million (Mx$8.2 billion), giving it full control of the popular Vips chain of family restaurants, among others. The move was a first for the company, which had previously focused on operating licenced global brands. It also came on the heels of the July 2013 purchase of a 25% stake in Grupo Axo, a marketer of brands like Tommy Hifilger, Guess, and Sephora in Mexico. In this podcast, Michael Schaefer, Head of Beverages and Foodservice, discusses what the rise of “super-franchisees” like Alsea in Latin America or MH Alshaya Group in the Middle East means for the evolution of global foodservice, while also commenting on the continuing convergence of foodservice and retail.

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