Brazilian confectionery market offers diverse portfolio for export

This year’s ISM proved memorable on a number of levels for its 50th edition, and its significance is heightened in turbulent present markets affected by coronavirus. Editor Neill Barston reflects on meeting Ubiracy Fonsêca, president of Abicab, the Brazilian chocolate, peanut and candies industry trade association, who has been recently re-appointed to his role

As Ubiracy Fonseca, president of Abicab explains, there continues to be a consistent level of investment being made into supporting the sector, which has seen significant activity among both smaller enterprises and larger confectionery groups.

This has been reflected in the recent results for the region, which saw overseas markets encouragingly grow by 40 per cent year-on-year in 2018, and rise 37 per cent in value. Furthermore, in the build-up to this year’s ISM in Cologne, the country reported that the country’s rest of the world sales stood at $429.6 million from January to October 2019. Speaking to Confectionery Production at this year’s event, Abicab’s president believed that Brazil’s continued focus on export to a wide variety of countries has paid off.

For this year’s show, there were more than 20 confectionery and biscuit companies represented including a number of well established businesses including Berbau, Cacau Show, Cory, Divine, Dori, Embare, Fhom, Francfort, Garoto, Hershey’s do Brasil, Jazam, Marilan, M. Dias Branco, Montevergine, Neugebauer, Peccin, Santa Edwiges, Simas, Soberana and Toffano. “It has been a productive year for us.

The Brazilian market has been recovering, and export-wise the past five years we have been seeing some good results. “There has been a new government in the country from last year, which has seen many things change, so we have been busy making new contacts,” explained Fonseca, enthusing that the broad range of confectionery businesses present at this year’s event was testament to its strong position in global markets.

“We can definitely say that with the increased number of participants this year is a positive sign, and we’re very satisfied with the fact that new businesses are here this year. We’ve provided motivation and support, and helped trained businesses in working with international export markets. We want this level of growth in export businesses to continue, and we hope that for those who were not able to make it this time to ISM, that they will be able to do so next year. “We think it’s crucial to participate at the event, to be present and display brands and products, as well as seeing what other trends and innovations are present in the market to gain ideas for the future,” added Fonseca who said he had greatly enjoyed attending the fair over the past two decades.

In addition, he commented that ‘it’s still the most important’ event for the industry globally, with it having a particularly international outlook, which he remarked was reflected by its high
number of both visitors and exhibitors from across the world.

“For me, it’s an important moment being here, having been re-elected for another three years in my role, which I hope shows the work that we have done has achieved some good results
as a team with Abicab,” explained the president.

In terms of challenges ahead, he revealed that there are constant changes in the market, so he noted it is important that companies in the sector keep a close track on ever-changing
consumer demands.

Among some of the main trends he had observed were the growing number of businesses offering better-for-you options, as well as eye-catching packaging.

“We believe that we are well positioned for the US market, ISM for the global market here, as well as Yummex in the Middle East and Africa and Asia, as well as having a business round table in March, so we are always looking for new events to promote our companies’ products.”

Strong response to companies

Speaking to several other Brazilian businesses, exhibitors felt there had been a strong response to their ranges of confectionery designed for export, with almost $4 million in deals concluded at the event, as previously reported.

Among prominent exhibitors was Hershey Brazil, with the US firm producing ranges dedicated for the South American market, meeting with a favourable response at ISM.

Beatriz Sanchez, of the company, said: “For this year’s show we have a milk bar that is 60 per cent cocoa, as well as a range of seven flavours. The taste and high quality are the same as
for the US market, but there are some differences for Brazilians, including a peanut bar, flavours such as banana.”

Another business reporting success was Divine Chocolate, demonstrating an expanded range of products during the four-day event. Diego Heineck, of the company, said: “We’ve had a good past year in terms of business, and one of our key goals now is to expand in the Middle East region, so we have been busy preparing for that. We started exporting two years ago and have developed our ranges which now include lactose and sugar free option, as well as using coconut sugars for those who are pre-diabetics, and we have found there is a growing market for those products as with the rest of the world. We’re now exporting to four countries, with one of our most important being through the Netherlands.”

Meanwhile, Djoni Susin, of Garoto, explained that the company had enjoyed an upturn in 2019, with further expansions to its range, and enhanced export activity.

He said: “We’re confident 2020 will be a very good year for us. We have made some innovations in our products – mainly in our Talento chocolate line which has done really well for us both in Brazil and overseas, including lemon, besides that we are launching additions in our 90g range.

“We have received a lot of customers here on our stand. We have also produced a brand new version of our classic “Yellow Box” collection just for the US market, as well as a banana fudge bar for that market, which is a key territory for our business.



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