Brazilian free-from chocolate coming to the US

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

Nugali is one of ABICAB's free-from chocolate brands targeting the US.  Photo: CN
Nugali is one of ABICAB's free-from chocolate brands targeting the US. Photo: CN

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The US chocolate confectionery space will soon see a surge of Brazilian free-from products as the country has started exporting its better-for-you products using the nation’s well-known acai berry.

“[Brazilian] candies are quite competitive even though the US has been producing free-from confectionery for a while,”​ said Yasmin Atun, international projects manager at Brazilian Cocoa, Chocolate, Peanut and Candies Manufacturers Association (ABICAB).

ABICAB has 100 members in Brazil’s sweets and snacks industry, including some of the major multinational companies such as Nestlé, Ferrero, Mondelēz, Mars and Hershey. It has brought around 34 of its members to markets outside of the country so far.

Atun said in a press tour organized by Brazilian trade and investment promotion agency Apex-Brasil in São Paulo that health trends are at their early stages in the country, yet are growing fast among domestic consumers.

Riclan, a Brazilian chewy candy company, recently introduced a sugar-free line, she said. The country’s first bean-to-bar chocolate brand, Nugali, also carries all gluten-free, lactose- and dairy-free dark chocolates.

Even though the total value of Brazil’s sweets and snacks exports took a dip in 2014, hitting $390m compared to $441m the previous year, its growth has come back since 2016, reaching $418m.

ABICAB said it is confident that the category export values, especially chocolate confectionery, will continue to grow in the future.

Brazil is currently the sixth largest confectionery market in volume and fifth largest chocolate market in volume in the world, according to Euromonitor. Its sales value of candy and chocolate is expected to reach $8.8bn by 2021. 

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