Crisis, what crisis? Brazil’s biscuit and industrialized cakes industry reports double-digit growth in 2014

By Vladimir Pekic

- Last updated on GMT

Cookies and crackers are Brazil's main biscuit export categories
Cookies and crackers are Brazil's main biscuit export categories

Related tags: Biscuit, Bread

Brazil’s biscuit, pasta and industrial cake and bread industry has seen annual sales increase 11.5% to BRL 32.20bn ($10.56bn), up from BRL 28.88bn in 2013, announced the leading trade association in the sector. 

Sales volumes and annual per capita consumption remained stable at 3.37mt and 17kg per year, respectively, said Brazil's newly created Association of Biscuit, Pasta, Industrial Bread and Cake Industries (ABIMAPI).

The rise in revenue reflects a sharp rise of costs, especially wheat costs, which the industry faced in 2014. “Climatic variations had a significant impact on the food industry in the world. Commodities became more expensive and manufacturers had to pass along the rise in raw input prices to the final price paid by end consumers​,” said ABIMAPI executive president Claudio Zanão.

Biscuit sales up by 25% over last three years

Brazil’s biscuit industry saw its earnings grow at a rate of 10.56% to BRL 19.67bn in 2014, up from 17.79bn a year earlier, said the organization. Akin to the rest of the sector, the biscuit segment showed stability in terms of production volumes last year - with output remaining firm at 1.7m t. Per capita consumption of biscuits in Brazil in 2014 also remained unchanged at 8.4kg per year.

The data reflects behavior of consumers who reduced the frequency of purchases, but on the other hand they add high-added value products to their shopping baskets, products such as cookies and special sweets​,” Zanão informed ConfectioneryNews. These types of biscuits are the main growth generators for the product category as they registered increases in sales of 23% and 3.5% respectively.

In the past three years, biscuit sales went up by 24.6%, said ABIMAPI, adding that sales in the cookie category had the strongest growth of 104.8%, followed by special sweets (40.2%) and ring-shaped cookies (32.4%).

Angola imports more than a third of Brazilian biscuits

Brazil remained a large net exporter of biscuits in 2014. Total biscuit exports amounted to $112.56m, up from $104.67m a year earlier. In terms of volume, the Brazilian industry exported 54,083t of biscuits in 2014, up from 48,507t a year earlier, according to ABIMAPI’s statistical data.

The two main biscuit export categories are cookies and crackers ($48.22m worth of exports) and waffles and wafers ($43.53m).

On the import side, Brazil primarily imports waffles and wafers ($20.60m) and other industrial biscuit products ($36.26m). Total biscuit imports in 2014 fell markedly to $71.86m, down from $85.37m in the previous year. In terms of volume, Brazil imported 14,605t of biscuits in 2014, down from 18,779t a year earlier.

The three largest importers of Brazilian biscuit products, by value, in 2014 were Angola (21,600t of biscuits worth $38.62m), the US (5,611t of biscuits worth $18.55m) and Paraguay (8,928t of biscuits worth $16.76m).

On the other hand, Brazil imports most of its biscuit treats from the US (3.036t worth $19.61m), Germany (2,112t worth $9.61m) and Poland (1,317t worth $8.21m).

Room for further growth in Industrialized cakes market

The market scenario for industrialized cakes and breads was also positive in 2014. Sales of industrialized cakes evolved 14% in relation to the preceding year, reaching a total of BRL 685m. This value is 32% higher than the value of industrialized cake sales recorded three years earlier.

In terms of volume, the sales total in 2014 amounted to 31,300t, which represents an 8% increase compared to 2013. In the past three years, the volume of sales of this product expanded by around 13.6%.

As regards sales of loaves of sliced bread in 2014, they increased 19% to BRL 3.8bn in 2014. In volume terms, they increased 7.6% to 358,300t, while per capita consumption amounted to 2.3kg per year.

This category still represents a relatively small market and there is a lot of room for growth. While biscuits and pastas have a household penetration rate of 99.6% in Brazilian homes, the respective rates for industrialized cakes and breads are 50.7% and 76.2%​,” said Zanão.

Related topics: Markets, Biscuits

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