Dispatches from Fi South America

Brazilian consumers seeking healthier products, but not necessarily from supermarkets: Mintel

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Consumers in Brazil are trying to consume less sugar and more protein, but food and beverage brands need to ensure that taste and texture are not detrimentally affected while also boosting the perception of ‘freshness’ for their products, according to a market analyst from Mintel.

Speaking with FoodNavigator-LATAM at the recent Fi South America 2018 show in Sao Paulo, Ana Paula Gilsogamo, food and drinks specialist for Mintel, discussed three key trends affecting the Brazilian market: sugar reduction, what consumers perceive to be ‘healthy’ food, and the rise of protein and fiber.

“One of the first things that Brazilian consumers mention is trying to be healthier and trying to limit the amount of sugar they use,” ​she told us, and added that this is sometimes a problem because sugar products are often more indulgent.

“When we ask Brazilian consumers they often say that products without sugar or with less sugar don’t have the same taste, so maybe this is something that the market needs to be prepared to deliver.

“[Stevia] is not so common in the market yet. We have a lot of brands developing more products with it, but it’s not as common as in other countries. We have Coca-Cola with stevia – that’s a big brand using stevia – but I think we need to develop the Brazilian knowledge about [stevia], too. You also have to teach consumers why this is better, compared to other options,” ​said Gilsogamo.

Another consideration is that Brazilian consumers often don’t look to the CPG brands for healthy products.  

“We have this perception that the healthy food is the food that I prepare at home. So the brands are trying to use freshness and all of these attributes and bring to processed or ready-to-eat products options that seem to be more healthy and more fresh.”

The third trend covered by Gilsogamo was protein and fiber, which she said consumers are interested in products with added protein and fiber, especially for niche consumers who are interested in fitness and a healthy lifestyle.

“We are trying to understand if Brazilian consumers are willing to pay more to have these kinds of benefits in the foods. With this fitness and lifestyle – for this niche of people – I think protein and fiber is important.”

* A recent survey from Arla Foods Ingredients suggested that Latin American consumers in general are wiling to pay more for protein-enriched products. Data from 4,000 consumers in Argentina, Brazil and Colombia indicated that 39% of respondents were willing to pay up to 5% more, 17% said they would pay up to 10% more, and 5% admitted they would pay over 10% more.  For more information on this data, please click HERE​.

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