The Gaucho Utensils Manufacturer Brinox it is even better known for its stainless steel items, which tend to last for decades. However, to cater to the young public who, thanks to the proliferation of one-bedroom properties, are venturing to live alone for the first time, the company realized that it was also necessary to have faster-turning products in its portfolio.
The group, founded on Rio Grande do Sul in 1988, it has been controlled for a decade by the Argentine private equity fund (which buys shares in companies) Southern Cross Group. The company, when it was no longer a family group, went shopping: it acquired, for example, the bake, of plastic utensils – with the brand, it no longer works only in the kitchen, but also helps to organize the home as a whole. Today, Brinox has revenues of around R$ 400 million.
In a highly fragmented market, Brinox finds itself in the middle of two forces of distinct power. On the one hand, the centenary Tramontina, also from Rio Grande do Sul, which leads in high added value products; and, on the other, the utensils imported from China, which get a competitive price. The national group also produces in China and India, but informs that 70% of its line is made in Linhares (ES) and Caxias do Sul (RS) – this last one, his hometown.
Since the change of control, the group is led by the Argentine Christian Hartenstein, who spent most of his childhood and adolescence in Brazil. “To compete in such a strong and consolidated market, with products with the same quality and at least the same cost, we grew with acquisitions and investments”, said the executive to the state.
Therefore, the company started to invest in variety. The portfolio, which currently has 6,000 products, is growing. In this process, around 300 to 350 items go out of line every year – and something between 500 to 700 become part of the shelf. “Every time a product is launched, another is killed”, explains the executive.
At the company, the most recent investment took place in the midst of the pandemic hurricane. With a disbursement of R$ 50 million, Brinox doubled the capacity of its cookware factory in Linhares, now to 1 million units per month.
After the initial scare with the pandemic, even with the disruptions that the industry has been facing and the jump in the cost of raw material, the last year has been one of great expansion. In 2020, the group recorded a 24% increase in sales and said that the pace was also accelerated in the first half of this year.
One of the reasons for the result is the fact that, staying more at home, people started to cook more, needing to buy items they didn’t have or exchanging older ones. Another explanation is more structural: Brazil is a young country with a large volume of people building their homes from scratch, something that invariably motivates the purchase of kitchen items.
“Brazil is one of the best places in the world for this market. Household items need young people, which means new homes. Cutlery, for example, lasts a lifetime. You need to buy when you separate, house or when you buy a new house”, points out Hartenstein.
One of the company’s brands, however, felt the impact of the pandemic. THE Haus Concept, the result of an acquisition made in 2015, manufactures products in melamine, a material similar to porcelain, used in hotels and restaurants. With the main customers in crisis, the brand saw demand plummet.
To founding partner of iN brand consultancy, Fábio Milnitzky, Brinox has stood out in the sector for sustaining part of its expected growth through the association of themes such as sustainability. According to him, the company has also been positioning itself as a business engaged in combating domestic violence.