Last month, the bakery major launched a sprouted grain 'Nutrella Viva' bread line in three variants - fruit, whole grain and multigrain – across São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The breads, it said, were free from preservatives, additives and high in folic acid, fiber, protein and minerals due to the use of sprouted grain flour.
Grupo Bimbo said innovation was key to growing its presence and consumer loyalty in Brazil.
“Our brand new nutrella Viva line is a good example of that mentality... Nutrella Viva reinforces the company's commitment to disruptive innovation and there is much more to come,” the company told FoodNavigator-LATAM.
Brazil back in growth
In 2014, Brazil tumbled into economic crisis which, according to Mintel, significantly hurt retail volumes and revenues for bread and baked goods – a category Grupo Bimbo ranks first in.
The bakery major was one of few companies in the Brazilian baked goods market that posted growth in 2016 (6% volume and value) despite overall category volume declines and stagnant revenues.
In 2017, Grupo Bimbo generated net sales of Mex$267.5bn (US$14.7bn), up 6.1% on the previous year. The company said its operations in Latin America accounted for 10.7% of total sales, with Brazil and Mexico sizeable markets.
“The Brazilian market for Grupo Bimbo is very significant. The country shows signs of economic recovery after two years of stagnation, which has stimulated the overall consumption in the market, showing that there is an opportunity for growth in the country,” it said.
Brazil, it said, was an “interesting” market as the largest Latin American market with a population much more significant than Mexico. On April 12, 2018, Brazil's estimated population stood at 210.5m compared to 130.7m in Mexico, according to independent stats firm Worldometers.
“It is a market with a lot of value and opportunity and we are always looking for better ways to reach our audiences in the region,” Grupo Bimbo said.
Sliced bread – artisan and industrial
Grupo Bimbo said currently, packaged sliced breads and mini breads were the most developed product categories in Brazil with the highest household penetration.
“One of the main reasons behind this, is that there is a high rate of innovation that the industry has brought to the market and this is reflected in the numbers.”
However, there were a range of other opportunities to expand in the market, from artisan and industrialized breads, through to cakes and salty snacks, it said.