getting fresh: Sweet Samba! What's going on in Brazil?
For those of you who follow the global political scene, you might be thinking that the headline refers to the latest presidential elections in Brazil, where former Marxist guerrilla Dilma Rousseff is in a runoff against her closest rival , Jose Serra, a former mayor of Sao Paulo and one of the county's most experienced politicians.
Poised to became the country's first female president, Rousseff, who’s the hand-picked successor of outgoing and very popular President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (80% approval rating but he can’t run for a third term), just missed on garnering more than 50% of the vote to eliminate a runoff. The former Marxist guerilla turned economist became Lula’s chief of staff after a scandal prompted the need for a replacement.
Although such a resume might concern most Westerns about a revolutionary change in government, most Brazilians that I talked to indicated that whoever wins the election won’t necessarily affect the economic good times in the country. Both candidates are promising to continue Lula’s legacy by pursuing a strong social program that’s integrated with equal doses of government investment in Brazil’s infrastructure. According to many observers, each candidate is determined to continue policies that fuel growth in Brazil, a phenomenon that bodes well for all industries, including confectionery.
A recent trip to Brazil, which was sponsored by the Brazilian Association of Cacao, Chocolates, Candies and By-Products (ABICAB) provided me with an excellent snapshot of the dynamism that’s prevalent there.
As our cover stories in the October issue of Candy Industry and Retail Confectioner reveal, confectionery manufacturers have transformed the vibrancy of the Brazilian culture into the sweets industry. And while there are a slew of statistics I can rattle off, the one I’m pretty jacked about is the $350 million invested in modernizing and expanding production capabilities.
With the world’s eight largest economy and a population of nearly 191 million people, Brazil has both the natural resources and the consumer base to support a healthy confectionery marketplace. Thanks to a race engine economy, that’s exactly what’s been happening.
It’s also clear that Brazilian confectioners have recognized that supplying domestic demand provides an opportunity to improve product quality, modernize operational and processing segments and introduce more sophisticated and innovative confections simultaneously. That also opens doors to the export market, one that’s been dominated by China of late. T
he ongoing sensitivities by retailers and consumers about the safety of Chinese food products enhances the opportunities for Brazil’s progressive confectionery manufacturers. For the longest time, Brazil has been know as the South American country with the greatest potential. That potential stemmed from its access to vast natural resources, its integration of various races and cultures and a culture that had a zest for life.
But as Getulio Ursulino Netto, president of ABICAB, remarked in his opening presentation to journalists invited to visit Sweet Brazil, the country’s annual confectionery show, “Brazil’s potential is now.”
I agree, no time like the present to secure the future, be it in Brazil or here.
World Cocoa Foundation Marks Tenth Anniversary
The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), which celebrates its tenth anniversary this week, marked the occasion with a gathering of representatives from industry, government, development organizations and research institutes around the globe at its two-day Partnership Meeting in Washington, D.C.
The meeting, which began this morning and heralds the theme “Marking a Decade of Cocoa Sustainability,” will feature sessions on “Cocoa and the Green Revolution,” “Programs to Address Child Labor,” “Emerging Markets and Producing Regions for Cocoa,” and roundtables on the cocoa supply chain, diversification, food security, the environment, and research.
Last night the WCF acknowledged its members, partners, and supporters who have contributed to the organization’s growth over the last ten years with a special reception at the U.S. Botanic Garden.
Earlier in the day, WCF’s outgoing Chairman Kip Walk of Blommer Chocolate Co. announced the foundation’s new slate officers for 2011. Anne Alonzo, Kraft Foods, and Andy McCormick, The Hershey Co., will serve as chairperson and secretary/treasurer; respectively. Steve Genzoli of Ghirardelli Chocolate Co. and Gerry Manley of Olam International Ltd. will continue in their positions as Vice Chairpersons. Nicko Debenham of Armajaro and Francisco Gomez of Casa Luker Colombia were elected to the Executive Committee under the Small and Medium Enterprise membership category.
“As we enter our second decade, we look forward to working with this outstanding leadership team and with all of our members in support of cocoa farmers, their families, and their communities,” says Bill Guyton, WCF’s president.
The Foundation also welcomed Denmark-based Carlletti SA and U.S.-based General Cocoa Company as new members.
For more information, visit www.worldcocoa.org.
Bazooka Candy Brands Debuts Baby Bottle Pop Rattlerz
New York City-based Bazooka Candy Brands will extend its top-selling Baby Bottle Pop candy line with the launch of Baby Bottle Pop Rattlerz candy. The newest addition to the “baby franchise,” Baby Bottle Pop Rattlerz is shaped like a rattle and features a lollipop encased in a clear globe with crunchy candies that create a percussive sound when shaken. The product will debut in two flavors-berry blast and strawberry-and will be available at convenience stores and national drug store chains in January 2011.
“Rattlerz is an exciting addition to the Bazooka Candy Brands family,” says John Budd, Bazooka Candy Brands’ vice president of marketing. “The rattle-like, whimsical shape and sound encourages you to let loose and have fun, which is what the Baby Bottle Pop brand is all about.”
To support the introduction of Baby Bottle Pop Rattlerz at retail, Bazooka Candy Brands is planning a comprehensive marketing and promotional campaign encompassing online and TV commercials. Additionally, the marketing for the new candy will be integrated into the program already established for Baby Bottle Pop candy.
Similar to Baby Bottle Pop, the Rattlerz will include a special code in the packaging that will enable kids to log on to www.BabyBottlePop.com, which features a musical environment, and download free MP3s from Go Entertainment’s Kicking Daisies and Razor & Tie’s Mathias Anderle. The available MP3s include original tunes from these artists as well as their versions of Baby Bottle Pop jingle.
For additional information, visit www.topps.com.
ADM to Fund Bridges, Wells in Côte D'Ivoire
Archer Daniels Midland Co. will donate more than $576,000 to Opportunities Industrialization Centers International to fund bridge and well construction projects in 24 villages throughout Côte d’Ivoire. The projects, to be completed by OIC International over a two-year period, include the construction of 16 clean water wells and eight small bridges with culverts.
“Working with OIC International to fund these crucial infrastructure projects is another example of ADM’s commitment to improving the lives of cocoa farmers and their communities,” says David Loué, sustainable development manager for ADM Cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire. “Construction of the clean water wells and bridges will lead to better health and more reliable infrastructure, resulting in improved farm incomes for 120,000 people in these communities, including 18,000 cocoa farmers who provide ADM Cocoa with approximately 18,000 metric tons of cocoa beans per year.”
The 16 wells will be installed in rural communities throughout Côte d’Ivoire to make clean water more readily available and to help reduce the incidence of waterborne infectious diseases. The wells will also lessen the burden on women who typically must travel long distances to obtain water for their families. Eight wells will be constructed in 2010 with the remaining eight completed in 2011. Eight bridges will be constructed near rural cocoa communities to facilitate travel between villages. Six bridges will be constructed in 2010 with the remaining two completed in 2011. These bridges will also improve the cocoa bean collection and transportation processes, helping to broaden the marketing opportunities for cocoa farmers.
“Over the long term, the bridges and wells constructed through this program will also help to increase school enrollment rates for children in these areas,” says Loué. “Bridges will make it safer and easier for young children to travel to school, and ready access to clean water will improve the overall health of children in the area. The potential for increased farm incomes will also allow more families to afford to send their children to school.”
ADM grinds approximately 16% of the world’s cocoa crop. In Côte d’Ivoire, the company operates the UNICAO cocoa processing facility in Abidjan, two cocoa conditioning and storage facilities in Abidjan and one cocoa conditioning and storage facility in San Pedro where beans are cleaned, checked for quality and prepared for export to ADM’s cocoa processing facilities around the world.
These infrastructure projects in Côte d’Ivoire are being funded through ADM Cares, the company’s corporate social-investment program. ADM Cares strives to drive meaningful social, economic and environmental progress in communities where the company has a presence.
For more information, visit www.adm.com/admcares.
Clif Bar Seasonal Flavors Return, Benefit Wildlands
Emeryville, Calif.-based Clif Bar is bringing back its seasonal flavors for the holidays, and in the spirit of the season, will donate 1% of net sales to Winter Wildlands Alliance, the first and only national organization that works on behalf of skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers, winter hikers and other outdoor adventurers to address national issues that impact winter wildlands.
The seasonal flavors – Cranberry Orange Nut Bread, Iced Gingerbread and Spiced Pumpkin Pie – combine home-baked holiday favorites with an athlete-crafted blend of carbohydrates, protein and fiber for sustained energy. Made with organic and all-natural ingredients, the bars are available nationwide now through the holiday season and retail for $1.39.
“Once again this year we received a lot of phone calls and emails asking when our holiday-inspired flavors would be available,” says Carly Lutz, Clif Bar’s brand director. “Well, the wait is over. And this year we’re proud to support Winter Wildlands Alliance in its preservation efforts – a cause anyone who enjoys outdoor winter adventures can get behind.” The three limited-edition bars join 15 year-round CLIF BAR flavors, all of which are made with whole ingredients, such as oats, fruit and nuts.
For more information visit www.clifbar.com.
Sweet of the Week: SNICKERS Peanut Butter Squared
Mars Chocolate North America will launch a new version of its best selling SNICKERS bar this December, the SNICKERS Peanut Butter Squared. The new bite-sized squares combine the classic SNICKERS flavor of peanuts, caramel, nougat and milk chocolate with peanut butter. The 1.78-oz. singles pack features two squares for a SRP of $.89 and will be available in grocery, convenience and drug stores December 2010.
For more information, visit www.mars.com.