Founded one year ago, SoulBrasil Cuisine makes premium jams, fruit vinegar and hot sauces using native Brazilian ingredients.
According to Soul Brasil, the products reflect “Brazil’s generous biodiversity [that] offers hundreds of possibilities” while the company’s stated mission is to “spread Brazilian flavor, color, and food culture” around the world.
SoulBrasil Cuisine's range of organic condiments makes use of iconic Brazilian fruit, such as açaí and guarana, and lesser-known spices, such as the baniwa pepper.
The jam includes uba mango and tonka bean; açaí fruit and cachaça, while the hot sauce range includes murupi pepper and acerola; and jiquitaia pepper and açaí. The vinegars are made from organic sugar cane fermented for two months and blended with either açaí, acerola, guava or mango.
Reflecting Brazil's biodiversity
CEO and co-founder Leticia Feddersen set up the company with her husband Peter Feddersen.
“We only use products that [reflect] Brazil’s biodiversity – fruits, seeds, spices and peppers typical of our country and sourced from the Amazon and other regions," she told FoodNavigator-LATAM.
“If you travel and go to any supermarket, you can find condiments from all over the world but you won’t find any from Brazil. We have so many flavors and fruits – I mean, we have the Amazon! - but still, you can't find anything from Brazil. That’s what motivates us. Let’s show the world what we have.”
Feddersen, who lived in France for years, said she was inspired by the French concept of terroir.
“We want to give Brazil the essence of 'terroir': valuing local flavors, local producers and local gastronomy but always in a sustainable and healthy way.
“It’s a very French concept and we are not used to it in Brazil,” she added.
One of the biggest challenges Feddersen has faced so far is ensuring steady organic supplies of the ingredients it requires.
SoulBrasil Cuisine is targeting its products to the international export market, and therefore needs to meet USDA organic requirements.
For some ingredients, such as acerola, Soul Brasil has helped producers cover the costs of becoming certified organic.
The baniwa pepper, for instance, is sourced from indigenous communities in the Amazon near the Venezuelan border.
Soul Brasil said it looks for sourcing partners that “foster the recovery of forests and the empowerment of traditional and indigenous communities, providing economic and environmental benefits to them”.
The products, which have an 18-month shelf life, are made from frozen fruit pulp, which retains the taste and nutrition.
The baniwa pepper, for instance, travels by boat and plane before reaching Sao Paolo where Soul Brasil has its factory.
Soul Brasil’s products are listed in gourmet shops in Sao Paolo and are exported to Germany and the US.