Candy Industry Blog

How Brazil stole my heart

Government and business work hand-in-hand to extoll country’s growing confectionery sector.

May 14, 2014
Crystal Lindell in Brazil
Managing Editor Crystal Lindell standing in front of the city of Ilhéus during her week-long trip to Brazil. 

I have to confess that until last week, I still had a bit of a grudge against Brazil. Being a native of Chicagoland, I thought it wasn’t fair that the country had “samba’d” its way to the 2016 Summer Olympics bid. Chicago should have won that. I mean, come on, how often is the president of the United States going to be from my hometown? We needed to play that up while we could.

But no! Brazil had to be all, “We’re beautiful, and amazing and developing. Pick us! Pick us!” And that’s exactly what the Olympic Committee did.

But all those feelings of jealousy quickly melted away the second I stepped off the plane in Sao Paulo last Sunday.

I mean, who doesn’t love palm trees and Brazilian architecture?

I can say that because I just got back from a seven-day, whirlwind trip to the country that included three domestic flights and a different hotel every single night. The word amazing does not do it justice.

I got to tour the peanut candy company Santa Helena as well as the caramel maker Embaré. Then, on Friday, we went to the city of Ilhéus and toured the Leolinda cocoa farm, where they grow cocoa beans for the chocolate company Nugali. It was incredible.

I was invited by ABICAB (the Brazilian Cocoa, Chocolate, Peanut and Candies Manufacturers Association) and APEX, (the Brazilian Agency for the Promotion of Exports and Investments acts). Each provided an amazing guide — Rodrigo Solano from ABICAB and Camila Meyer from APEX. Their hospitality was a huge part of why the trip was so amazing.

And, now that I’ve seen their government agency and industry association in action, I can understand why Brazil won the 2016 Olympics.

Sure, sure, my hometown put a lot into the bid. There were signs all over the city saying “Chicago 2016” and everyone was getting into the Olympic spirit.

But that’s the problem. It was only everyone in town. In Brazil, it was the whole country. Half of South America was working to win that bid, and when an entire nation is invested in something, it’s a given that it’ll have a stronger effect than our Windy City off Lake Michigan.

In fact, it’s a concept that makes sense for development in general. And it’s one of the ways the United States could really stand to improve.

Take ABICAB for example. It’s a government-funded organization which has as its main goal increasing confectionery exports. And considering the fact that Brazil is the fourth largest confectionery exporter in the world, I’d say they’re succeeding.

What's really interesting though is that the organization doesn’t just spend all of its time trying to get tax cuts for its members. Instead, it truly invests in each company. The staff works one on one with its members, and readies them for the world market. They make sure there’s enough flavors, and that the packaging works. They find out what their strategy is and work with them to make it happen.

They also coordinate trade show trips for candy makers. And more than that, they bring buyers and media right to the country to show off Brazil and meet with confectionery makers right on their home turf.

It’s a strategy that takes a lot more work, but it has a much higher reward. With all the talk in the United States about helping small business, and business in general, it seems as though a federally funded organization that works one on one with them would have a much higher impact than a bunch of lobbyists.

I will, of course, have a full report on my journey to Brazil in an upcoming issue. But in the meantime, you should be able to spot me by the bright yellow and green clothes I’ll be wearing during the upcoming World Cup, which is also being hosted in Brazil. I’ve made my peace with the country — and more than that, I’ve become one of its biggest fans. 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

A Venetian Carnival, a Jelly Belly sculpture and gourmet chocolates! Oh my!

Candy Industry takes you into the French Pastry’s School For the Love of Chocolate event in Chicago, held Feb. 25.

Candy Industry Magazine

candy may 2015

May 2015

Check out the May issue, featuring products from Sweets & Snacks Expo, how Enstrom's rebranding looks promising, and more!
Table Of Contents Subscribe

Healthier Food Options

A recent Nielsen report shows that consumers are calling for healthier options from food manufacturers. Do you think consumers will actually buy healthier versions of their favorite candy and snacks if they’re made available?
View Results Poll Archive

Candy Industry Store

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\Candy Industry\natural-food-flavors-colora.gif
Natural Food Flavors and Colorants

Although many foods are appealing, and even perceived as natural, in spite of containing synthetic additives, consumer increasingly prefer food products which are fully natural.

More Products

Candy Industry's Kettle Awards

Kettle Awards

Since 1946, Candy Industry magazine has recognized leaders in the U.S. confectionery industry with the highest recognition possible, the Kettle Award. The distinguished recipients have captured this most coveted award by not only excelling within their companies, but by contributing to the greater good of the industry. It’s virtually a who’s who of past and present professionals who have left their mark as confectioners and business mavens. Learn more about the voting process as well as the annual Kettle Awards Ceremony by visiting our Kettle Awards Website


fb40   twitter 40    youtube40    linked   Google+

Clear Seas Research

Clear SeasWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.