New research from Mintel suggests that strong and premium beer – volumes up 18% in 2011 – and international brands are making fast inroads among Brazilian consumers.
Sebastian Concha, research director, Latin America, at Mintel, said: “The fact that premium beers are gaining more market share from the standard beer sector highlights the changing consumer mindset in Brazil and how beverage habits relate to this.”
Brazil’s hosting of key live sports events in coming years presented “huge opportunities”, Concha said. “With a strong sporting prowess in Brazil and a product closely linked with sporting culture, beer manufacturers who can capitalize on local enthusiasm and blend this to ensure a premium product positioning stand to benefit.
Standard beer volumes fell 2% year-on-year to 2011, but off-trade strong and premium market attained a global value of R$5.29bn, gaining a 0.6% value share from the standard segment.
International brands hold a cachet for key demographics, according to Mintel, especially younger adults and ‘upper-class’ (AB) adults, 26% of 18-24s and 25% of the latter are active in this category.
While this number is also high among 25-34 year olds (23%), Mintel data shows a marked decline for the 35+ age group: just 13% of 35-44 year-olds drink international brands, 12% of 45-54s, 7% of 55+.
“International beer brands also hold great potential for growth in the next year in Brazil. They enjoy the glamor of a cosmopolitan allure, have strong marketing and can help this high volume market achieve much more lucrative profit margins,” Concha said.
Engaging the ladies…
A low temperature was a key selling point for Brazilian consumers, Mintel said, where 95% of beer drinkers claim to only like beer served ‘super cold’ (rather than just cold as in other nations); the research firm said that this had led to color-changing packaging and cold filtering innovations.
Meanwhile, Mintel said the gender gap within Brazilian beer consumption remained, with 65% of men drinking beer and only 38% of women.
Intriguingly, Mintel said it appeared that gender-related attributes would not work to redress the balance, since Brazilian women had little interest in low-calorie beers.
27% of women who drank beer said they tried to avoid it on weight gain grounds, but 23% of men said the same thing. And only 45% of women claimed to like trying new beer types (57% men).
Concha said: “The most successful strategies to attract more women will be the ones that appeal to universal tastes and stress key selling points of the beer sector itself.
“International beer brands in particular are in a great position are in a great position to redefine beer as a genderless category having an especially receptive segment among younger and wealthier women,” he added.