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Father Cícero’s water: is it really for drinking?

Jannsen Santana (Lifestyle Research Center, EM LYON Business School, Ecully, France)
Rodrigo Oliveira Pimentel (Universidade Federal do Cariri, Juazeiro do Norte, Brazil)
Halana Adelino Brandão (Universidade Federal do Cariri, Juazeiro do Norte, Brazil)
Antonio Messias Valdevino (Doctoral Program in Management, Paraíba Federal University, João Pessoa, Brazil)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 14 December 2022

Issue publication date: 6 April 2023




This teaching case aims to provide in-class discussions on the commercialization and consumption of goods in spiritual markets. This teaching case is a narrative based on facts with a fictitious plot reporting the journeys of the launch, commercialization and consumption of mineral water in bottles in the shape of Father Cícero – a religious leader in Northeast Brazil – produced by Blue Spring Mineral Water in Juazeiro do Norte’s pilgrimage spiritual market.


Primary and secondary data sources were gathered. Two focus groups with pilgrims and semi-structured interviews with Blue Spring leaders and a local Church representative were conducted as primary data. As secondary data, a dossier was created holding content from newspapers and blogs online on the focal product and data from the company’s official website and social networks.


Throughout the case, the strategies and challenges of the production and commercialization of this religiously appealing product and the consumer practices adopted by different consumer profiles are unfolded.


This case intends to be a useful pedagogical tool to discuss the creation, production, commercialization and consumption of goods in spiritual markets. The case allows students to experience Blue Spring’s managers’ point of view regarding the decisions of production and commercialization of the focal product. In a broad sense, this case intends to inform future marketers of the importance of balancing commercialization in religious contexts.



The authors thank all the interviewees, who kindly shared their stories, and the members from NEC – Center for Business, Strategy and Consumer Studies at the Federal University of Cariri, who supported the development of this work. We also thank the support from CAPES – Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (Finance Code 001).


Santana, J., Pimentel, R.O., Adelino Brandão, H. and Valdevino, A.M. (2023), "Father Cícero’s water: is it really for drinking?", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 155-172.



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