The world’s biggest sporting event, the FIFA World Cup, has already been incorporated to the sales calendar of peanut snacks for Brazilians, who are passionate about football, and increase the product’s consumption at gatherings along the games. It is during Festas Juninas (“June Festivals”), a typical and unique event in Brazil, that the demand for peanuts in the country grows the most, according to a survey commissioned by ABICAB (Brazilian Cocoa, Chocolate, Peanut and Candies Manufacturers Association).
Based on these results, Brazilian companies began to invest in exporting local culture to boost peanut sales abroad, as part of Brasil Sweets and Snacks, ABICAB’s export project in partnership with Apex-Brasil (Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency).
Held annually in June, the Festas Juninas originate from Europe’s Midsummer celebrations. They were brought to Brazil by Portuguese settlers aiming to celebrate Catholic saints, such as St. John the Baptist, and incorporated customs and food from Indigenous Brazilians to create a unique festival.
Celebrated throughout the country, the Festas Juninas were pointed out by 87% of Brazilians in a survey as the main occasion to consume peanuts. A previous survey also noted that 66% of Brazilians prefer to consume peanuts at gatherings, such as those held during the World Cup matches.
Festas Juninas in the U.S.
Since the beginning of June, Santa Helena, one of the largest manufacturers of peanut products in Latin America, have been setting up typical Festas Juninas tents in stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, in the United States. From banners to totem displays for people to take photos, Santa Helena and their distributors reproduced for Americans the environment created in the Brazilian Festas Juninas.
“We have always believed in taking the Brazilian culture to the world and decided, alongside our distributors, to invest in promoting the Festas Juninas in the United States this year,” said Roberto Garcia Ramirez, Santa Helena’s exports coordinator.
Typical products such as paçoca, a candy originated from Indigenous Brazilians’ cuisine – made with ground, roasted peanuts, sugar and a pinch of salt – are being marketed. The version of this candy sold by Santa Helena in the U.S. is Paçoquita, and the company is also selling the savoury snacks Mendorato, Crokíssimo, and Amindus, which are part of the Festas Juninas’ menu.
“With this initiative, our expectation for the next three years is to double the sales volume to the U.S. during the Festas Juninas period,” added Ramirez.
The survey commissioned by ABICAB indicated that peanuts are the preferred edible nuts for 45% of Brazilians and that the salted products are the most widely consumed by 59% of respondents. Nevertheless, the paçoca is, individually, the most widely consumed peanut product by 69% of Brazilians.
“Peanuts have a high nutritional value and are part of Brazilians’ daily life. We consume the product as a salty snack or in the form of candies. In addition, it is a frequently used ingredient in recipes of sweet and savory dishes of our cuisine,” said Ubiracy Fonseca, President of ABICAB.
Survey data indicate that peanuts are an essential ingredient in recipes for cakes and candies that are typical of birthday parties in Brazil, as well as in savoury snacks.