As South America’s largest market, Brazil is becoming a global player with increasing consumer expenditure. Between 2007 and 2012, Brazilian consumer spending on food and non-alcoholic beverages increased 71.4% due to an expanding middle class, according to Euromonitor. American food and agriculture exporters have the potential to tap into this growing market.

In Brazil, produce products are a crucial component of consumer expenditure due to a growing trend to eat healthy and organic foods. Avoiding obesity is a concern of consumers, and as a result many Brazilians have turned to eating healthier foods. Euromonitor reported that in Brazilian culture, cooking with fresh ingredients is very important and so fruits and vegetables are sought after as inexpensive healthy ingredients. For Michigan companies, the apple and produce market in Brazil holds great potential for exporting. Alongside the healthy and organic trends, Brazilian per capita apple consumption has increased in the last decade. While Brazil does grow a large number of the apples consumed in country, Brazilian consumers have often assumed that imported apples have better quality than domestic apples. The high quality of all Michigan food products provides a competitive edge in the Brazilian market.

In addition to these trends, Michigan food companies can benefit from the established trade relations between the Unites States and Brazil. The two countries have a cooperative relationship, with increasing economic relations across all industries including the food and agriculture sector. USA food and agriculture exports to Brazil reached $5.2 billion in 2012, an increase from 2011 figures.

However, the Brazilian export market can be difficult to maneuver without proper knowledge and education. The International Marketing Program at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD and the Food Export Association of the Midwest are hosting a seminar on July 18 in Grand Rapids to provide information on exporting to Brazil. The seminar, “Tapping into the Brazilian Market,” will feature Jose Madeira from BusinessBrazil and Dennis Lynch, export counselor for the Food Export Association of the Midwest and Northeast. The presenters will provide valuable knowledge and insight for exporting to Brazil, with a special focus on the apple and produce industry.

Food Export Association of the Midwest partners with the International Marketing Program at MDARD to help Michigan food industry businesses expand their international marketing scope by utilizing federal export assistance programs. Companies interested in learning more about the International Marketing Program can contact Jamie Zmitko-Somers, International Marketing Manager, at (517)-284-5738 or Please follow the International Marketing Program on Twitter @MiAgExport, and like the International Marketing Program on Facebook!

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