“Across Brazil, multinationals and foreign investors are competing with domestic companies in a bid to capture the wallets of Brazil’s emerging new middle class. Known as the Classe C, these are working-class and lower middle-class people who not long ago were stuck in the ‘D’ and ‘E’ classes,” says The Financial Times.
“Now, thanks to increases in the minimum wage, government social welfare transfers and Brazil’s growing economy, they are emerging from the favelas and the periferia – the impoverished peripheries – of Brazil’s large cities to find themselves at the centre of the country’s remarkable resurgence. Since 2003, more than 30m people have risen out of poverty in Brazil, swelling the ranks of the middle – those earning between R$1,200 ($699) and R$5,174 per month, per household – to about 105.5m in a population of about 190m.
“The creation of this fresh crop of consumers is leading to the emergence of new companies and even new industries across a range of sectors, from telecommunications, housing, consumer goods and education to travel and entertainment. Groups, backed by an array of foreign investors, are queueing up to give them what they want.
“Whatever strategy they use, most companies now realise that the one area of Brazil they used to ignore – the favelas – is exactly where they now need to be. As [a] security guard who lives in Pavãozinho Cantagalo in Rio, puts it, this is a trend that is not going to go away.
“It’s not just about the Olympics and stuff like that. This time it seems that this is for real – things are really changing.”