From cosmetics to shakes, açaí is well accepted abroad
It is not difficult to see in the daily lives of generations, especially the so-called Millennial and Z, that the global trend in food consumption has changed radically in recent times. The growing importance of digital fitness influencers, for example, is a good indicator of what some market research sources, such as Euromonitor and the Apex-Brasil portal, are pointing out: today, more attention is paid to what is ingested. More and more healthy and functional foods enter the consumer's routine. Another example is the fast foods such as McDonald's, which are adapting to this "health wave" putting salads and juices on their menus.
The advantages of internationalizing açaí
So why not take advantage of this trend to expand the consumer market for a product that is already highly sought after in Brazil? Açaí moves an average of 500 million reais within our borders, according to the IBGE, and the plant extraction that gives rise to the delicacy is growing year after year. In 2017, also according to the IBGE, an amount of 219 tons of açaí was produced just for extraction. Despite the impressive data, only 10% of the entire harvest of this fruit is exported. Of the 10% of production exported, 70% of this volume is destined for the USA, that is, 7% of all Brazilian production. The American consumer market grows exponentially with the leveraged search for a vitamin, antioxidant and energy supplement. Marcelo Cesana, creator and owner of the Frooty brand, says that "Açaí fell in favor of the public for several reasons. First, because of its health: because it is an antioxidant and energetic fruit, the jiu-jitsu and surfing people it consumes a lot. Since then, the category has grown a lot and I think that açaí is consumed because it is really tasty, going beyond its nutritional value."
With all the productive capacity of the North region, highlighting the Pará, the main açaí extraction area in the world, Brazil demonstrates an enormous growth potential in the internationalization of this product. The paste that is made with the fruit can be exported, preferably, as it allows for longer conservation time and easier consumption. This paste, rich in antioxidants and A sweet taste, it has already acquired followers in European cafes and has become fashionable among contemporary restaurants in Los Angeles, and even in East Asian countries such as China and Japan, according to Amazon Flavors.
In addition to the increase in the number of people who prefer açaí, in the search for an energetic and healthy food, the number of cosmetics that have the fruit as a basis for their formulation is also increasing. All the improvement in body functions that superfruit provides has attracted the eyes of producers in the beauty sector around the world, such as the English brand Lush, which makes its moisturizing creams, soaps and hair cosmetics, with organic bases and has developed a line with varied products that have açaí in their composition.
The importance of selling and consuming açaí for internal development
There is still more advantages, in addition to these, in the internationalization of the fruit and its derivatives. The collection and processing of the fruit generates around 25 thousand jobs and around 40 million reais in net profit, according to the SEBRAE survey, for producing communities in the main northern states in terms of production and sale of what is extracted. With the growth of the foreign market for açaí, aid in environmental and economic development for the North region has great potential to further increase its production in a sustainable manner.
By Leila Beija Flor on 12/8/2019