Tackling claims, regulation in the growing Brazilian functional foods market

By Maggie Hennessy

- Last updated on GMT

"South American consumers have greater spending power and are increasingly interested in integrating functional food, drinks and dietary supplements into their daily life," said Chris Lee, Vitafoods portfolio director.
"South American consumers have greater spending power and are increasingly interested in integrating functional food, drinks and dietary supplements into their daily life," said Chris Lee, Vitafoods portfolio director.

Related tags South america Nutrition

Health and wellness packaged food and beverages continue to chart strong growth in South America, driven largely by Brazil’s fast-growing middle class. 

But along with higher incomes and more education come busier schedules, full employment, and a breakdown in the traditional Brazilian diet, along with the unpleasant reality of confronting new health problems like obesity. 

Fortified and functional foods are attracting the attention of more and more South American consumers as they increasingly understand the products’ benefits. In particular, the appeal of functional and fortified foods in Brazil is largely their weight control attributes. Brazilian consumers, especially women, are extremely image conscious and as their incomes rise they are willing to pay more for products that can help them to maintain a trim figure.

Growing Brazilian middle class means more demand for functional food and drink

Indeed, as the growing middle class demands greater functionality from food and drink, the Brazilian health and wellness market has swelled from $33.8 million in 2007 to $70.4 million in 2013 (and is projected to reach $79.7 million by 2015), according to recent figures from Euromonitor International. 

And yet, in most South American countries, only general regulations relating to consumer protection and food standards are currently available, as Fatima Linares, syndicated research manager at Euromonitor International, pointed out in a recent video blog. “There are no specific rules when it comes to health and wellness products,” ​she noted.

However, in recent years, concern is rising over how to properly legislate the labeling and marketing of food in a more comprehensive way, particularly as obesity rates continue to climb (50% of the South American population is either overweight or obese).

Vitafoods 2014 focused on addressing regulatory concerns, health claims

In an effort to help manufacturers and suppliers navigate South America's changing consumer and regulatory landscape, Vitafoods South America will focus on health claims, regulatory trends and labeling legislation at this year’s functional food and nutraceutical event, April 8-9, 2014 in São Paulo, Brazil.

The conference will feature a series of interactive panel discussions on claims and regulation, as well as sessions looking at the application of claims, how to successfully market new products, and innovation in health claims. Panelists include representatives from Cargill, Nestle, Danone, CONBRAFITO and ABIAD.

International regulatory and policy consultancy EAS Strategic Advice will provide one-to-one regulatory advice sessions during the conference, offering information on regulation, product formulas, labeling and claims. EAS will also host a Nutrition & Health Claims Workshop to demystify different legislations and practices in key Latin American markets.

More than 130 exhibitors from all over the globe will showcase innovative ingredients in functional food, drinks and dietary supplements. The New Products Zone acts as a guide to the most recent products launching in the South American and global markets. Current exhibitors include Atina, Bukhi, DSM, Gelita, Graminex, Kemin and Probiotical.

Supplement, functional F&B market set to reach $13 bn in 2017

“South America is in the throes of a developmental boom. Consumers have greater spending power and are increasingly interested in integrating functional food, drinks and dietary supplements into their daily life. As a result, the market for these products is expected to hit $13 billion by 2017,” ​said Chris Lee, Vitafoods portfolio director. “Vitafoods South America enables suppliers of ingredients and raw materials to take advantage of this opportunity by connecting them with food manufacturers and distributors to do business and learn about the latest developments in the world’s fastest-growing nutraceuticals market.”

Keynote speeches and presentations from leading industry experts and consultancies, including Datamonitor, Leatherhead and Innova Market Insights, will cover regulatory issues, new research and the latest trends. And new this year, the Innovation Presentations by leading market intelligence analysts will delve into hot topics dominating the region’s market.

Lee noted that the event drew a significant increase in attendees at the 2013 event—a pattern he expects will continue in 2014. “We have added a number of new visitor attractions to bolster the educational program and are confident attendees will leave after two days feeling they have gained valuable insights into the Latin American nutraceuticals market and discovered some of the most innovative products in the industry,”​ he said.

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