Brazilian Tastes Shift from Traditional to Trendy

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Food and beverage manufacturers gain favour in Brazil's marketplace with new and novel flavours

KerryDigest Fast Facts:

  • Among Brazilians, the desire to experiment with products from different cultures and countries is almost universal.
  • New and novel food offerings are also experiencing unprecedented interest from consumers.
  • Kerry Brazil gathered insight from mixologists, baristas and chefs as well as consumer surveys to create a full report of emerging and current trends.
  • Three areas showing notable growth in the market include internationally-inspired ingredients, exotic fruit juices and desserts enriched with vegetables.

KerryDigest Full Scoop:

Brazilian consumers typically prefer traditional, local cuisine and flavours. But novel and unusual foods and beverages are gaining popularity throughout the country. Experts are pointing to a noticeable shift in consumer attitudes which could indicate these products—and the spirit of gastronomic adventure—may well be here to stay.

There’s hard evidence to back up this change: In a recent survey, 84% of Brazilians expressed that they enjoy experimenting with products from different cultures and countries, according to GlobalData, and over half said that curiosity is their main motivation for trying a new flavour. Food and beverage manufacturers savvy to this are experimenting with new-to-Brazil flavours such as honey mustard potato chips and guava ketchup—and consumers are snapping them up.

To help local and global manufacturers develop tasty and on-trend food and beverages, Kerry Brazil developed the report “2018 Brasil Flavour Charts”—available in Portuguese and English—which offers a complete overview of mainstream, key, up and coming and emerging flavours in the country. Below, a sneak peek of three trends predicted have staying power in culinary, beverages and sweets, as determined by data and the experience of our resident chefs, baristas and mixologists.


Trending in Brazil Culinary: Flavours of the World

One reason Brazilians are increasingly open to international gastronomy is linked to travel habits: Although the recent recession led to a significant drop in overseas travel, millions of residents still travel outside of Brazil every year. Each meal eaten abroad can lead to subtle shifts in the acceptance of and preference for new and different flavours.

For those who stay close to home, the local proliferation of restaurants specializing in foods from other cultures—especially around the urban centres of Brazil—offers the chance to try foreign flavours and satisfy sensory curiosity. Our research shows that 51% of Brazilian consumers find trying new experiences even more exciting than trying new products.

Regardless of where they first taste it, actual and armchair travellers are ready to replicate cuisines from other cultures in their own homes. This is increasing demand for internationally-inspired products and ingredients in supermarkets and foodservice establishments, which presents a large business opportunity for manufacturers and QSR operators.

Some of the most popular flavours among home-cooks and on-the-go eaters include those typical of Asian, Italian and Mexican cuisine. Of the most popular products, many are those made with jalapeño, guacamole, curry, Thai and teriyaki flavours; these could be worth testing as new flavour options in chips, dips, snacks, sauces, ready-made meals and more.


Trending in Brazil Beverage: Unexpected Fruits

A glance at the produce aisle of a Brazilian supermarket is one way to know the demand for exotic fruits is on the rise. Another is to monitor the appearance of new and novel fruits in fresh and packaged juices. Our research shows that around half of all consumers are eager to try new or different varieties of juices and smoothies, which is good incentive for manufacturers considering introducing new and trending flavours.

Currently, consumer preference indicates that the most desirable juices are those made from fruits plentiful in the north and northeast of Brazil, including graviola, cupuaçu, cajá, mango and tamarind. But there is growing demand for varieties originating in other countries, including lychee fruit and pitaya (dragonfruit), which both come from Asia, as well as flavour-enhancing spices such as fresh ginger. 

While health is on the mind of most Brazilians (see below) the alcoholic beverage market is still alive and well—and looking for inspiration. Our research shows 44% of Brazilians like to experiment with new flavours in alcoholic drinks. It’s no surprise that on-trend mixologists and manufacturers are incorporating these flavors into bar ingredients and cocktails such as caipirinhas made with pitaya puree or lychee syrup martinis garnished with lychee fruit.


Trending in Brazil Sweets: Vegetables as Dessert

Due to the growing consumer demand for healthy, natural and convenient food, vegetable-based products are on the rise. Regular consumption of fruits and vegetables has increased in Brazil, growing from 33% of the average person’s daily food intake in 2008 to 35.2% in 2016, according to the Ministry of Health.

This increase has shifted consumer palates and psyches: many people now have a strong attachment to and desire for flavors typically perceived as healthy and nutritious. As a result, consumers are looking for more natural flavors in shelf-stable products, such as those derived from fruits and vegetables. 

Manufacturers are answering this call for antioxidant- and nutrients-rich foods in some unexpected ways. One that seems to delight consumers is vegetable-infused desserts. Consumers are purchasing better-for-you products ranging from avocado and açaí ice creams to detox juices made from a variety of fruits and vegetables to even smoked eggplant based-sweets.

These trends represent just a few of the new and on-the-horizon offerings captivating consumers in Brazil. To see all of the flavours on the rise in the coming months, download the 2018 Kerry Brazil Flavour Charts in Portuguese or English. To learn more about partnering with us to bring new products to market, contact Kerry.

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