There is a growing demand for solutions for those who give up the consumption of any type of product of animal origin. Heating reflects a worldwide trend
The food scenario in Brazil displays an interesting paradox. The supply of animal protein is growing, thanks to technological advances in breeding and processors. At the same time, an increasing number of people reduce the ingestion of meat or even adhere to veganism – the renunciation of the consumption of any kind of product of animal origin.
There is no precise data on the number of vegans in Brazil. But, considering their representativeness among vegetarians from other countries, we would have here, in a conservative projection, something around 7 million vegans – a study by IBOPE Intelligence released in April 2018 calculates that 14% of Brazilians, or about 30 million individuals, are vegetarians.
It is an index still far from that verified in the United States (16 million vegans, according to a recent Harris Interactive research), but expressive if we take into account its equivalence to the total population of countries such as Paraguay, Bulgaria or Serbia. The companies have awakened to the potential of this market, points out Guilherme Carvalho, executive secretary of the Brazilian Vegetarian Society (SVB). “In comparison with some other countries, Brazil still crawls on the offer of industrialized vegan products on the retail market. But the speed of these changes has been impressive and this scenario is changing each week”, says the professional.
More then a thousand certifications
According to Carvalho, two years ago began a boom in releases for the vegan public. In 2018, the number of products with the Vegan Seal, awarded by SVB since 2013, jumped from 400 to more than a thousand products. “Not to mention the various products that are not yet certified, but that seek to serve this public,” he recalls.
A valid message for industries and brand owners is that vegan products are not exclusive. According to research commissioned or monitored by SVB, a large part of the consumers of these foods is not vegan – a growing portion of the population seeks to reduce the consumption of meat, milk/derivatives and eggs, including among the 70% of Brazilian adults with some degree of intolerance to lactose. On the other hand, the identification of a vegan product as such is necessary: the research conducted by IBOPE in 2018 showed that 55% of Brazilians would consume more vegan products if they were more clearly labeled as such.
It should be noted, however, that the performance of products for vegans at points of sale is influenced by universal factors. “Research shows that the purchase of food for vegans is decided by convenience, price and taste. If the product is based on this tripod, it will have a great chance of thriving”, says Carvalho.
The scenario for vegans is also more smiling when it comes to eating outside the home. According to SVB, there are already more than 250 vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Brazil. And the menus of conventional restaurants and snack bars open progressive space for recipes free of ingredients of animal origin.
The SVB has a program, the Vegan Option, which provides free consultancy for food chains willing to serve the vegan public. Names such as Baked Potato, Maki’s Place, Bacio di Latte and Lanchonete da Cidade used the service. “We observed some brands launching, instead of vegan dishes, ovolactovegetarian dishes, which are less inclusive. In the middle of 2019, this is a big mistake. But in general, the outlook is positive, with more vegan options”, comments Carvalho.
Attention on several fronts
The food industry is not alone in the race to serve vegans. “Food producers are ahead, but manufacturers of toiletries and cosmetics, as well as the apparel sector, are moving,” Carvalho says. Although less commented on, other solutions are still worthy of note. “It is not from today that there are capsules of medicines free of collagen. And we even have tattoo inks certified with the Vegan Seal”, adds the executive secretary of SVB.
Who follows closely the market of products for vegans bets on a significant advance in short term, maintaining the sharp curve of recent years. If 14% of Brazilians are now vegetarians, in 2012 they were 8% of the population, according to readings from IBOPE Intelligence – an evolution of 75% in six years, therefore. In the same period, Internet searches for the term “vegan”, according to Google Trends, increased 14 times in Brazil.
There are those who say that international trends take some time to arrive in Brazil and that, when they arrive, they spread quickly. In the United Kingdom, the amount of vegans grew 360% between 2005 and 2015. In the United States, this number doubled in 6 years (2009-2015). Both in Europe and in North America, the launches of vegan products grow in the order of 40%, year after year. “We have a fantastic window of opportunity for business”, summarizes Guilherme Carvalho.
Among the more than 350 exhibiting brands expected at ANUFOOD Brazil, Exclusive International Fair for the Food and Beverage Sector, are companies that will present new products for the vegan market. ANUFOOD Brazil is the national version of the largest food fair in the world, Anuga, held in Germany, will be held from March 9 to 11, 2020, in São Paulo.
Following the example of the first edition, in 2019, the fair will present, through exhibitions, lectures, congresses and sharing of experiences, the main launches, consumption trends, future of food safety and best practices in the segment. The event is aimed at distributors, wholesalers, supermarket owners, restaurants, bars, hotels, among others.
About ANUFOOD Brazil – ANUFOOD Brazil is organized by Koelnmesse do Brasil in partnership with FGV Projetos, technical advisory unit of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation, dedicating the due space to all diversity of activities related to agribusiness and the food and beverage industry. This way, national and international buyers will have the opportunity to meet in the same place to do business, besides having contact with the innovations of the industry. The next edition of the event will take place from March 9 to 11, 2020, at the São Paulo Expo, in São Paulo.