Tuesday, March 23, 2010
The Foods of Easter in Brazil - Chocolate Easter Eggs
The variety of eggs sold each year in Brazil, and the size of the market, are both enormous. Eggs range in from minuscule to ginormous, and in price from a few reais (approx. $1.00 USD) to thousands of reais. Special luxury eggs are sometimes priced at well over $10,000 USD.
Whatever the price, the 2010 "crop" of Easter eggs in Brazil will be approximately 5% higher than last year, according to APAS (Associação Paulista de Supermercados), a supermarket-industry association. APAS blames the price increase on this year's higher global price for sugar (which in turn is blamed on the failure of the sugar harvest in India), and on higher prices in Brazil for cocoa butter (blamed on the rise of the dollar against the real). Ironically, almost all the cocoa butter used in manufacture of chocolate in Brazil is imported, even though the product is produced here. According to a spokesperson for APAS, "the domestic product does not provide the taste that Brazilians appreciate in chocolate."
Nonetheless, even with higher prices, the chocolate industry in Brazil is expecting that sales of Easter eggs in 2010 will be about 7-10% greater than last year, when the economic crisis had an impact on the market. Brazilian consumers are more confident and optimistic about the economy this year, and increased sales of Easter eggs is one of the results.
Whether sales rise 5% or not, the consumption of Easter eggs in Brazil is astoundingly high. Expected volume in 2010 according to industry experts will be about 25.5 thousand tons, which works out to approximately 100 million Easter eggs. With a population of 200 million persons, that's half an egg for every Brazilian, from infant to great-granny, to enjoy during the Easter season.