Women vs. Men: How to market 'tasty' bread to Brazilians

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / filipefrazao
© Getty Images / filipefrazao
Male and female consumers in Brazil have different tastes and priorities with bakery products and manufacturers must consider this when innovating, says Mintel.

Brazil's $5.6bn bread and baked goods market is set to grow steadily to $6.8bn by 2020, according to Mintel forecasts. This growth comes after three years of stagnant revenues and declining volumes​ and whilst there has been a flurry of NPD within the market, Mintel said there was plenty more innovating to be done.

Ana Paula Gilsogamo, food and drink specialist at Mintel, said one area of particular interest was in products developed to target female and male consumers – groups with very different needs and preferences.

“When targeting men or women, in particular with bread and baked goods products, it is important to understand what they expect in terms of healthy attributes, flavors and indulgence,”​ Gilsogamo told FoodNavigator-LATAM.

“Mintel's research on healthy eating trends in Brazil shows that women are more concerned about healthy eating and show more interest in adopting healthy eating habits than men. In fact, 52% of women have tried or would be interested in adopting at least five healthy habits on a daily basis, compared to 37% of men,” ​she said.

Sweet and savory

A Mintel survey of 1,500 adults aged 16+ in Brazil about bread and baked goods consumption showed 21% of women aged 16-34 would eat more if the products were whole grain and 19% said nuts and/or seeds gave these products an enjoyable flavor.

Gilsogamo said healthy eating trends among women also indicated particular interest in fibers, superfood seeds and other ingredients associated with good digestion or weight loss. One-third of females in Brazil, for example, would pay more for these bread and bakery products.

By contrast, the Mintel survey showed 14% of men aged 16-34 would consume more bread and baked goods if there was a wider variety of sweet flavors like honey and vanilla.

“The fact that women are more interested in wholegrain or bread and baked goods with nuts and seeds than men, confirms this female attitude towards healthy habits and seems to be more about looking forward to healthy options than necessarily a flavor appeal,”​ Gilsogamo said. “On the other hand, sweeter products positioned for more indulgent occasions, like snacking and prepared sandwiches, look to be more appealing to men.”

Men, she said, were frequently into more indulgent products and occasions. For example, a majority considered balanced meals the way to stay healthy – eating, for example, a salad for dinner followed by ice-cream for dessert.

They also considered energy-dense products like high-protein breads and baked goods the 'healthy' option, she said, with 42% of men saying they would buy and pay more for high-protein bakery variants.

One step further...

Gilsogamo said that whilst Brazil already had a number of products on the market suited to these needs, particularly wholegrain and seeded variants, more could be done to draw attention and connect with consumers.

“To differentiate or take these products a step further, manufacturers and brands could add more information on packaging and advertise or use other communication channels to teach consumers about how and why wholegrain and nuts and seeds can help them in their daily lives,”​ she said.

A stronger, more segmented focus on female consumption occasions would also “be beneficial”,​ she said, particularly a focus on breakfast, like BelVita and Activia Café de Manã had done and succeeded in with crackers and yogurt.

“Breakfast is the meal occasion when females are most likely to choose a 'healthy' option – significantly more than males. So, again, understanding the consumption occasion is very important to target the products; identifying gaps and opportunities.”

If manufacturers were clever, Gilsogamo said it was possible to target both female and male consumers simultaneously with the one product, although it was important not to lose the product's core focus.

“A product within these two concepts will have nuts and/or seeds – ingredients with a healthier perception – combined with a sweet flavor, which mainly brings ideas of indulgence. So, more than thinking about appealing to females and males simultaneously, it is important to think about which attributes and perceptions manufacturers and brands want to resonate with and which consumer need to product is aiming to fulfill.

“...The bigger opportunity for bread and baked good brands is not to target men or women in particular, but to use ingredients and claims that are most relevant to the brand's wider audience, showcasing healthy positioning,” ​she said.

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