According to the Brazilian Supermarket Association (Abras), in 2015 retail sales in Brazil increased 7.1 percent in nominal terms, but decreased 3.25 percent in real terms, due to the double digit inflation (10.67 percent),generating total revenues of US$ 133.8 billion. Food retail sales accounted for 5.35 percent of Brazil’s GPD, up 0.05 percent. The growth forecast for 2016 is 1 percent.
Large food retail companies are constantly looking for expansion opportunities. Over the past few years, the largest retailers were involved in acquisitions and also started to acquire companies specialized in non-food business, adding different services to their operations, such as pharmacies and gas stations. The three largest retailers, Pão de Açúcar, Carrefour, and Wal-Mart plan to maintain investments in the Brazilian market. Together, these three chains account for 23 percent of retail revenues.
Food retailers are generally looking for well-known brands and high-end products. Brazilian importers/distributors usually prefer products with six months shelf life or more. In addition to the product itself, packaging, status, and level of innovation are important attributes. Products that combine these characteristics are more likely to successfully enter the market.
In the Brazilian market, most imported foods and beverages are positioned within the premium category. Currently the food categories that are mostly exported to Brazil from the United States are: food preparations, chocolate and cocoa products, potatoes prepared/frozen, sauces and mixed condiments/seasoning, bread/pastries/cakes and puddings, almonds (fresh or dried)/shelled, tea or mate extracts/essences/concentrates, wine, pears (fresh) and beer made from malt.