EconomyFinancialThe day that Dr. Simi gave away tortillas in...

The day that Dr. Simi gave away tortillas in his pharmacy, given the rise in prices

15 years ago, they sold them and also gave away kilos of tortillas to their customers, in the midst of a corn shortage and an increase in international prices. This is the story.

Between 2006 and 2007, a sharp increase in the price of tortillas hit the pockets of Mexicans. While a few months before the kilo was sold for 5 pesos, at the end of 2006 the price rose to $7.50 and even reached $10 in some entities such as the State of Mexico.

At that time, the Mexican government, headed by Felipe Calderón, refused to resort to price controls, alleging that this would discourage production. The reason was an escalation in international corn prices and the growing dependence of the national market on grain imports.

It was in these circumstances that he decided to sell tortillas at 4 pesos per kilo in his branches. However, he was criticized for allegedly taking advantage of people’s need to drive customers to his business.

Then, González Torres declared that the Group for a Better Country, owner of this pharmacy and other businesses in the sector, was not acting in bad faith. And he decided that pharmacies would give away half a kilo of tortillas to each customer, without the condition of buying something to obtain it.

In the political context, González Torres had participated as an independent candidate for the Presidency of Mexico. Although later he recognized and supported the victory of Felipe Calderón (PAN), while the then opposition candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador led the ‘Vote by vote and box by box’ movement.

The strategy worked and he began to give away milk

The strategy of giving away products such as tortillas lasted until 2008, when González Torres implemented a campaign to “help” families get off the January hill. The promotion consisted of giving away a kilo of sugar, beans, rice or a liter of milk with the purchase of 80 pesos in their products.

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