Pasta, Biscuit and Bakery Products in Brazil

29 May 20198 min reading


As the fifth largest country in the world by area, the sixth largest by population, and nineth biggest economy, Brazil is a major producer, consumer, and exporter of a wide range of agricultural products. It is one of the world’s biggest agricultural powerhouses. Agribusiness is the key driver of the Brazilian economy. Brazil is one of the leading global players for biscuit, pasta, industrial bread and cake categories. The country’s revenue in the Bread and Bakery segment is targeted at $17,580 million in 2019. The market is expected to grow by 4.6% annually.

Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world and the largest in the southern hemisphere. It has the 9th largest economy by GDP and a population of about 206 million people. The country represents the gateway to the Mercosur trade block, including Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela, as well as with special relationships with Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Guiana and Suriname, which together form a common market of more than 310 million consumers. Brazil has an enormous internal growth potential, a broad industrial base and infrastructure and a diversified economy. Brazil is a traditional leader among emerging markets. A BRICS member, many multi-national companies consider it as an essential market for global businesses.

Brazil is one of the leading global players for biscuit, pasta, industrial bread and cake categories. The country’s revenue in the Bread and Bakery segment is targeted at $ 17,580 million in 2019. The market is expected to grow by 4.6% annually. Most global revenues are met in the United States. The average bakery product consumption per capita in the country is calculated as 21.6 kilograms for 2019. According to The Brazilian Manufacturers Association of Biscuit, Pasta and Industrialized Bread & Cakes (ABIMAPI) data, there are more than 30 Brazilian brands abroad that supply grain-based packaged food to more than 80 countries across 5 continents.

claudio-zanao_abimapiIn his message in the 2019 Yearbook, Claudio Zanão, Executive President of ABIMAPI (Brazilian Manufacturers Association of Biscuits, Pasta and Industrialized Breads & Cakes), notes that despite the economic hardships the country faced in recent years, the ABIMAPI food basket remained stable compared to 2017, both in terms of revenues, accounting for a total of R$ 26.6 billion, and sales volume, reaching approximately 2.5 million tons.” “We expect both indicators to increase by 3% in 2019, on average. We also had a more positive international scenario: last year, we reached a total of US$ 136.6 million and 71,700 tons of products exported to 120 destinations across five continents – a 6% and 11% increase compared to 2017, respectively.” he states. Here is the latest data for Brazilian biscuits, pasta and industrialized breads published in ABIMAPI’s 2019 Directory:

THE BISCUITS INDUSTRY “The biscuits industry ended 2018 with a stable performance, recording a slight drop of 0.5% in revenue and 0.8 in sales volume,” according to the Nielsen consulting firm. The survey also reveals an upturn in doughnut demand, mainly attributed to lower prices and the perception of a better cost-to-benefit ratio conveyed by larger packages. Another highlight in the last period was the growth of a specific niche with higher added value: cookies – mainly due to an upsurge in newcomer brands hitting market shelves.

Biscuits have a special place in Brazil’s basic food basket, as their quality and price justify the almost unabridged penetration in households, while the industry focuses on constantly launching new products to boost demand and seeking new opportunities to diversify portfolios and packaging presentations. This scenario explains the current stability achieved by the biscuits industry. Regarding revenues, the balance of R$ 14.3 billion recorded in 2018 is 0.5% below the previous year, while the 1.15 million tons recorded in sales volume represents a mere drop of 0.8% year over year. In the broader picture, the per capita consumption of biscuits in 2018, estimated at 5.5 kilograms, also dropped only 1.5% compared to 2017.

The biscuits industry was able to not only adapting to public health requirements in terms of lowering sodium, sugar and trans fat content, but also identifying opportunities to add value and incorporate fibers, grains and minerals into products, serving a growing number of consumers who are willing to pay extra for healthy food products.


THE PASTA INDUSTRY RECORDED R$ 6.2 BILLION IN REVENUE IN 2018 According to consulting firm Nielsen, the pasta food category grew 1.3% in revenue and sales volume in 2018. These results are led by instant pasta products, driven by the advent of low unit prices, which are a direct result of shifts in consumer habits that started appearing after the 2015 crisis – and which has only started to show aftermath effects three years later.

In the macro plan, the pasta industry’s revenue and volume sales rose by 1.3% in 2018, totaling R$ 6.2 billion and 916,000 tons, respectively. As a result of the lower purchasing power, the affordable instant pasta products grew by 7% in revenue, totaling approximately R$ 1.9 billion, and 3.6% in sales volume, with around 127,000 tons. Another exciting highlight for the pasta industry last year was a 0.5% upturn in per capita consumption, rising to 4.39 kilograms – suggesting a gradual recovery of pre-crisis indicator levels.

The impact of Brazil’s economy, which has been recovering since 2018, in the food pasta market is somewhat bittersweet. On the one hand, consumption rationalization favors the purchase intention among cheaper products with lower added value, which counterbalances the category’s momentum in revenue gains. On the other hand, the tighter household budget made a dent on food away from home, which, coupled with the rising gourmet trend, has been encouraging consumers to cook their own food.

According to the Fiesp/Ciesp survey “A Mesa dos Brasileiros” (Brazilians’ Table) released in 2018, 74% of respondents stated that they started cooking more meals at home over the last few years of the crisis. This represents a huge opportunity for pasta to gain even more momentum.

brezilya_ekmek_makarna_biskuvi3Brazil is the world’s third-largest maker of pasta following Italy and the US, with a production exceeding one million tons. As a result of investments made after the 1990s, Brazil’s pasta production capacity has exceeded 1.4 million tons. “Macarrão” is the term used for pasta which is produced as many different types. Many producers in the sector produce pasta as well as bakery products such as flour, cake, and cookies.

INDUSTRIALIZED BREADS AND CAKES INDUSTRY “The bread sector closed 2018 with a slight decrease in sales volume of 0.7%, whereas the industrial cakes sector, including single portions, reported a positive balance, growing in the range of 2.2% and 1.9% respectively”, states a survey conducted by Nielsen Consulting. According to the survey, the drop measured in industrial breads was more strongly felt in the bread roll segment. On the other hand, sandwich bread remained stable in the last period, and even crustless and sourdough loaves experienced increasing demand. Another highlight was the rise of industrial French bread, but these still represent a negligible part of the industrial sector. In general terms, revenue for the two product categories was around R$ 6.1 billion in 2018, 2.2% higher than the 2017 figures. As for sales volume, about 435,000 tons were sold, a slight decrease of 0.4% compared to the previous balance. In 2018, industrial bread – accounting for the majority of the balance – attained R$ 5.2 billion in revenue, with close to 401,000 tons sold. In the cake category, revenue of approximately R$ 875,500 million in 2018 indicates an increase of 5.7% over the previous year while the sales volume in the range of 34,000 tons confirms a growth of 2.2%.

Per capita consumption of industrial bread in 2018 declined 1.4% to 1.92 kg. The panetone demand is noteworthy, with a projected penetration in 53% of Brazilian households. From November 2017 to January 2018, this segment experienced a turnover of R$ 600 million from the sale of 39,000 tons, a 13% higher volume year-over-year. The trio of quality, price and healthiness – a reference guideline for the entire food industry – guides the solid flow of innovations and improvements in the industrial bread portfolio, second only to practical and long shelf life appeal.

According to survey from Kantar Worldpanel, industrialized bread products have been growing in the Brazilian market due to their convenience and extended shelf life. Invented in the U.S. in the last century and produced on a commercial scale since the 1930s, sandwich bread accounted for approximately 73.6% of the category’s sales volume, way ahead of other products like hamburger buns (10.8%), hot dog buns and rolls (9.1% and 2.6%, respectively).

brezilya_ekmek_makarna_biskuvi2EXPORT INCREASES BY 6 PERCENT Around 90 destinations across five continents reached total earnings of US$ 136.6 million and 71,700 tons in sales volume in 2018 (up 6% and 11% compared to 2017, respectively). These figures confirm a major upswing in foreign trade for all 54 industries affiliated to ABIMAPI. Cross-referencing the data reveals that ABIMAPI associates’ foreign sales leaped from 43% in 2015 to 78% in 2018 of Brazil’s total exports in the biscuits, pasta, and industrialized breads and cakes categories. This is a huge accomplishment for the sector and APEX. This positive performance in exports also reflected the manufacturers’ strength in the domestic market. Brazil currently ranks 7th in industrialized bread and cake retail sales and 3rd as producer and consumer of biscuits and pasta worldwide.


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