Almost a decade after the acronym BRICs entered the lexicon of international business, another phrase is starting to shape thinking on the developing world – CIVETS.

Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa. Six very different nations, with different geographies and varied cultures. However, according to some leading economists, the countries share several characteristics that make them attractive to international investors.

The phrase CIVETS has, in recent months, started to gain traction in the food industry and just-food, keen to stay at the forefront of the emerging trends in our sector, last week used the emergence of the term to kick off a new column on developing markets.

Brics and beyond will aim to provide you with weekly insight into some of the world’s emerging markets – from the BRICs of Brazil, Russia, India and China to the ‘new’ emerging markets that are starting to gain the attention of big business.

Our analysis of the potential and pitfalls of investing in markets like these will look to provide you with the information you need to make better business decisions when looking for that next big growth market.

With many developing markets showing signs of buoyancy as the West stagnates, major food companies are busy expanding into new markets or looking to build on fledgling operations. In recent weeks, PepsiCo and Heinz have signalled plans for fresh investment in one of the CIVETS – Vietnam – and, today, news emerged that German retail giant Metro Group is considering whether to enter another – Indonesia. And, all the while, the potential of the BRICs continues to attract investment, with Kraft Foods setting out plans for significant expansion in China.

On Wednesday (15 September), Kraft boss Irene Rosenfeld will present the company’s plans for “sustainable, top-tier growth” as the Cadbury owner sets out its blueprint for global growth. The event promises to be closely watched, not least after the controversy surrounding the Cadbury takeover. For Kraft, buying the UK confectioner was key to the US group’s plans to expand globally. Investors and the industry will be keen to hear what Kraft plans next.