Brazilian exporters gain ground in North America’s food and beverage market

The Brazilian strategy is to bet on healthy food, one of the biggest market trends, and take advantage of the space left by the uncertainties of suppliers from Asia and Western Europe.

By Marcel Salim

Coconut water, açaí, orange juice, grape juice, fresh fruits, honey, tea blends and spices with Brazilian flavors. These are just some of the products from the Brazilian delegation that attracted the attention of importers and major international retailers during Sial, North America’s largest food and beverage fair, held from May 9th to 11th in Toronto, Canada.

They were showcased at the pavilion organized by the Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada (CCBC) as part of the strategy to present Brazilian products and foster business with buyers from around the world. In this year’s edition, Sial attracted over 20,000 international buyers who had contact with about 1,000 exhibitors from 50 countries, with potential for several segments, including fruits, foods, vegetables, beverages and meats in general.

However, the delegation’s initiative was not limited to the fair. There were dozens of pre-scheduled business meetings with buyers, as well as technical visits and networking events during the seven days of what was the largest trade mission ever organized by CCBC at Sial.

The Canadian market has become increasingly attractive in recent years, with great opportunities for Brazilian products. In 2022 alone, it generated US$ 137.9 billion, with an annual growth forecast of 5.19% per year in the period between 2022 and 2027, according to data from Statistics Canada. The average annual expenditure of Canadian families on food was US$ 14,700 last year, an increase of nearly US$ 1,000 compared to 2021.

Much of the spending is on food for home preparation (79% of Canadians cook at home on a weekly basis and many are opting for a healthier diet, according to a Euromonitor survey). This is where the appeal for Brazilian products, such as fruits and juices, gains expressiveness.

Strengthening ties

In recent decades, Brazil and Canada have greatly expanded their bilateral relations, and simultaneously, foreign consumers are increasingly willing to pay more for quality and healthy items, with exotic and unique flavors, produced with social and environmental responsibility standards.

Not only that, but Canada is also considered a major hub and showcase for other markets. “This Brazil-Canada encounter has never been as strong as it is currently, and the trade balance figures reveal that this is an opportune moment for Brazilian producers to further strengthen ties with overseas buyers,” says Daniella Leite, Director of Associates and Businesses at CCBC.

CCBC’s booth at Sial 2023: Brazilian products attracted the attention of potential buyers and those interested in finding out more about Brazil (Credit: Divulgação/CCBC)

This is the case of the São Paulo company Guacira Alimentos, which is supplying rice to Canadian buyers. “We have been present at Sial for five years now, always with the support of CCBC, including market development issues, visits and meetings. Our perception year after year is that the demand for our product from Canada has been steadily growing. In this sense, participation in this type of event becomes essential for us to establish new agreements and partnerships”, says Bruno Barbaresco, the company’s International Business Manager.

Also in the 2023 edition, a major differential was the strong participation of companies from Paraná that joined the delegation to promote their products, supported by Invest Paraná, the government business agency linked to the State Secretariat of Industry, Commerce, and Services (Seic).

Companies from Paraná have already gone to the event with pre-scheduled negotiations. They are: Prat’s, a ready-to-drink juice manufacturer, from Paranavaí; Coacipar, a cooperative also from Paranavaí, which negotiated the sale of concentrated juice and pasteurized juice for beverage industries and bottlers; and Profills, a machinery manufacturer for food packaging, from Curitiba.

“Our trade missions have been very effective in conquering new markets. That’s why we went to Sial with the objective of placing Paraná products on the shelves of Canadians and any other country interested, based on all the business prospecting work done previously”, said Ricardo Barros, the Secretary of Industry, Commerce and Services.

“The advantage of our joint work with CCBC in the mission is objectivity. The entrepreneurs already travel with pre-defined agendas with potential buyers, and that already represents a big step towards achieving results”, emphasized Rogério José Chaves, Invest Paraná’s Economic Development Director.

According to Paulo de Castro Reis, Director of Institutional Relations at CCBC, the negotiations started in the mission will have even greater continuity with the opening of an office of the institution in Curitiba and of a commercial representation of Invest Paraná at CCBC’s Brazil Hub in Canada.

“Paraná products generate great interest and have potential in the Canadian market. Especially those that have quality differentials, origin and certification, which provide more confidence to the international partners”, evaluates Castro Reis.