Focus on dietery trends in Brazil
A pragmatic relationship with food
- Brazilian cuisine is the result of centuries of cooking traditions being mixed – Indian, European and African cuisine, as well as Japanese, Italian and Middle Eastern – with the various waves of immigration that the country has seen.
- The result is extremely diverse cooking styles which vary from region to region, albeit with a number of staple ingredients and dishes: rice, coffee, beans, bread and red meat are among the country's staple foodstuffs.
- Brazilian cuisine is in the process of undergoing a reinvention, and many restaurants are showcasing ingredients from the country's immense biodiversity.
Hearty meals and lots of snacking
- Brazilians are good eaters and enjoy lots of snacks. Brazilians eat 4.8 time a day on average (as opposed to 3.6 in France), and half of these times are between meals. And yet 45% believe that they do not eat any more than is necessary.
- The traditional diet is relatively fatty, high in starch and protein. When a detailed survey of people's diets was carried out in 2008,
- 84% said they had eaten rice during the previous week
- 79% drink coffee
- 73% eat beans
- 63% eat bread
- 48.7% eat beef
- 16% said they had eaten bananas and salads – the only fruit and vegetables which figure among the 20 most frequently-consumed foodstuffs
- 40.7% said they had had fruit juice and 21.2% said they had had soft drinks the previous week
--> Fruit and vegetables therefore accounted for only 3% of Brazilian people’s calorie intake in 2009. Furthermore, 60% of Brazilians consume higher quantities of sugar than those recommended by the Ministry for Health, and 82% consume more saturated fats than the ideal maximum amount.
- Brazilians see eating as a necessity first and foremost: in a TNS study conducted in 2014, 46% were found to believe that eating is first and foremost a necessity, and 38% were found to believe that it is first and foremost a pleasure. Only 16% thought that it was first and foremost a means of preventing health problems.
- The share of their budget that goes on food (15.5% in 2015) is similar to that in developed countries' economies (12% on average in the EU) and has not fallen significantly since 2009 (15.9%), which was when it was still slightly higher among its neighbouring countries (17.4% in Colombia and 20.3% in Argentina).
A more functional and "practical" diet
- Keeping pace with the rapid urbanisation of lifestyles, Brazilian's population continues to grow and people want products that are easy to prepare and consume. Sales of ready-made meals increased by 17.3% per year between 2011 and 2015, for example; packaged products – including cereals, soups, ice cream and savoury snacks – the consumption of which echoes the tradition of snacks – have also been enjoying annual growth of 11% to 12%.
Aspiring to a healthy diet
- 9% of 20 to 79-year-olds are diabetic (as opposed to 4.7% in France), and 43% of Brazilians suffer from food allergies. 18% are obese, and nearly half the population is overweight. This has raised alarm bells among the country's health authorities: in 2013, they launched a major campaign to promote healthier lifestyles.
- Moreover, the emerging middle classes are showing some aspirations to enjoying a better-quality diet.
- They aspire to eating better: 64% of them say that they strive for a balanced diet: for them, eating well equates first and foremost to eating healthily (67%), and only 37% think that eating well means first and foremost enjoying what they eat.
- Healthy/well-being products are proving tremendously successful, and sales in this sector saw average annual growth of 13.2% between 2011 and 2015. Sales of organic products, which have always been low, still saw an annual increase of 20.7% for the same period.
- They have relative confidence in the quality of products: only 68% think it is likely that foodstuffs can be damaging to their health, and 88% say that they trust the quality of products.
The importance of brands
- Brazilians attach importance to brands and labels, which provide proof of products’ quality: the product’s appearance (64%), the quality label (64%) and the brand (55%) are the three factors which provide consumers with the greatest reassurance
- But problems making ends meet at the end of the month do have the consequences
--> 62% say that they pay more attention to prices and are more on the lookout for sales and special offers
--> 35% say that they still purchase their favourite brands, but via less expensive retailers, and 21% now choose brands/labels that cost less.
--> Value for money is a central factor for Brazilian consumers – the economic crisis and health concerns have made them more vigilant.
Sources: Euromonitor, CIA World Factbook, McKinsey, OECD, SCIELO, Kantar Worldpanel, TNS
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