INTA Brand Stories: Bernard Malone on Havanna’s Alfajores

Published: June 16, 2021

Brands play an invaluable role in the lives of people around the world. The new “Brand Stories” initiative, introduced by INTA President Tiki Dare (Oracle Corporation, USA) at the 2021 Leadership Meeting, looks at how brands have viscerally impacted INTA members in different regions.

In one of the stories included in Ms. Dare’s Opening Ceremony video address, the INTA President takes a virtual “trip” to Argentina to hear from Bernard Malone (Baker McKenzie, Argentina). He discusses his affection for HAVANNA, an iconic Argentinian brand that has been producing the quintessential alfajores, a sweet cookie that includes honey, almonds, hazelnuts, and dulce de leche, for more than 70 years—catapulting the confection into social and culture relevance locally and beyond!

Below, Ms. Dare speaks with Mr. Malone about the Havanna company and its alfajores.

Thank you helping me tour Argentina through brands! Can you tell me about the brand you chose?
Sure! The brand is HAVANNA, it’s very popular for us here in Argentina. I have very fond memories of it. It is a product originally from Mar Del Plata. Mar Del Plata is a vacation area where most Argentines have been going to for summer vacation, and I always remember as a small kid you always had to go to Mar Del Plata and eat one—eat an alfajore—because it is delicious.

There were never leftovers. Whenever we had a barbecue at home or a family get-together, someone would say, “Hey Bernard, why don’t you go buy some alfajores?” and give me money and I’d run to the shop. You had to bring the exact number of alfajores for everybody in the house at the time. If there were any leftovers somebody would snatch them. The story is, you had to always buy the exact number.

What’s in an alfajore, and is this one bite of chocolate or a bit bigger?
It’s a bit bigger than one bite; it’s about four bites. When you’re taking care of your diet you may say, okay let’s share with someone so you don’t eat too much, but of course not always. I usually eat one myself because they’re really delicious!

You would have these in your family, but when you were traveling back from Mar Del Plata, would friends expect to see one of these?
The popular saying here is, “I’m going on vacation to Mar Del Plata” and somebody would say, “Don’t forget the alfajores!” When you’re coming back you had to bring alfajores back for your family, friends, and so on.

One of the most famous shops in Mar Del Plata is on the outskirts when you’re on the highway coming back to Buenos Aires. Everybody stops there. The most common box is of 12 alfajores, but for people traveling the most common box was 48 alfajores! When you travel to Mar Del Plata everybody expects you to bring back alfajores.

Watch Ms. Dare’s Brand Stories video. Follow #INTABrandStories on the Association’s social media platforms.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of this article, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2021 International Trademark Association