Brazil is among the four largest producers and consumers of chocolate in the world, producing about 800 thousand tons of chocolate per year. In this article you will find more information about this market.
The chocolate market has a growth of 10% per year and revenue of BRL 12.5 billion. Milk chocolate and bonbons represent more than 80% of the chocolate consumed in Brazil.
The cocoa production system is based on sustainability and characterized by practices with low emission of greenhouse gases and family farm production. There are about 50 thousand cocoa farmers in Brazil and 50% of them are located in the state of Bahia, which produces about 95% of Brazilian cocoa. The state of Espírito Santo produces 3.5% and the Amazon produces 1.5%. Currently Brazil produces on average 350 thousand tons of cocoa per year, of which 90% is destined for exports and the remaining 10% for the Brazilian chocolate industries.
Gourmet chocolate recently emerged in Brazil, but still only represents 3% of the domestic production. This segment is expanding in the Brazilian chocolate market to meet export demands. Gourmet chocolate uses more cocoa than normal chocolate making it taste bitter. The production of fine cocoa, which is used in gourmet chocolate production, is concentrated in the state of Bahia in Northeastern region.
Brazilians are chocolate lovers. According to ABICAB, short for Brazilian Association of the Chocolate Industry, 75% of the population consume chocolate and 35% would choose chocolate over any other food or drink.
During periods like Easter, Christmas and Valentine's Day chocolate consumption increases by 23%, 16% and 11% respectively. In addition to the holidays where people give chocolate to each other, 88% of consumers buy the product for their own consumption.
The purchase of chocolate is more concentrated in supermarkets, where people can find many flavors and brands with lower prices. A box of bonbons are the most popular option for the lower classes. Classes A and B are those that consume the most chocolate, but they prefer buying it in specialized stores.
In Brazil, the consumption of chocolate per inhabitant has grown a lot since the 70s when the consumption was around 300g per year. Nowadays the annual average is 2,5 kilograms per person annually, due to the fact that Brazilian is increasingly identifying chocolate as a food type. Brazilians used to eat chocolate only on special occasions such as Easter, Christmas and other holidays. It was not common to buy it as it is today which is at at any time.
The highest consumption of chocolate is in the Southern region and some people say this is due to the fact that it is the coldest region in the country, as winter is also a factor that increases chocolate consumption.
The major brands like Mondélez, Garoto and Nestlé have greater prominence in the market, but specialized stores such as Cacau Show and Kopenhagen also have a considerable market share, mainly in the Southeast and in the capitals. The three largest companies that are responsible for 76% of all sales in Brazil are:
- Mondélez: this company has 32% market share and produces some of the most traditional chocolates brands in Brazil such as Bis and Sonho de Valsa, under the brand Lacta. In addition to leading the market, it is also the number one in the sale of chocolate Easter eggs, which are the favorite for children
- Garoto: has 22% market share and produces popular chocolates such as Batom and Serenata de Amor
- Nestlé: used to lead the market, but slipped to third place with results compared to Garoto. Currently has 21% market share.
The other main players in the market are Hershey's, Arcor, Mars and Ferrero.
Imports and Exports
Although imported chocolate is often considered tastier, Brazilians tend to consume more national chocolate. Imported chocolate is very expensive and is not accessible to all consumers. The difference in price and taste is related to the amount of cocoa in the chocolate.
According to Brazilian law, to be considered chocolate the product must contain at least 35% of cocoa. Therefore, due to the climate in Brazil chocolate producers add fats in addition to cocoa butter. The more cocoa butter the chocolate has the more sensitive it is when subjected to high temperatures, that’s why it is necessary to blend it with other fats. In addition, this extra fat makes the product cheaper and attend to the market demand.
In Brazil there is a very large temperature difference between the North and the South regions, so the chocolates manufactured in these different locations have different compositions as well.
The consumption of chocolate has increased more than the production, therefore the country has reduced exports and increased imports in order to supply domestic demands. Brazilian chocolate is present in all continents, exporting annually about 30 thousand tons to 106 countries. The main buyers are Peru, Chile, Argentina, South Korea and Japan.
Chocolate imports amount to about 20 thousand tons per year. Brazil imports chocolate from countries such as the United States, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland.