Brazil sees exports of grape juice drinks soar in Japan

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Picture credit: Grape Juice of Brazil. Brazil sees strong growth in grape juice.
Picture credit: Grape Juice of Brazil. Brazil sees strong growth in grape juice.

Related tags Wine Chardonnay Brazil

Brazil has seen exports of grape juice drinks soar in Japan, but wine exports are struggling to get a foothold abroad, according to IBRAVIN Brazilian wine institute.

Speaking to BeverageDaily, Rodolfo Lucchese, promotions analyst, IBRAVIN, said the association is increasing its marketing campaigns to get more recognition for Brazilian wines, including its ‘Wake up the Brazilian in you’, initiative.

More consumption of beer domestically

Rodolfo Lucchese

He said the association was founded in 1998 to educate people about the wine in the country and to defend the wine growers there.

The majority of wine producers are based in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, but we are trying to develop that to expand across other regions of the country but it takes time​,” he said.

Brazil does not have a reputation for wine and there is more consumption of beer here domestically, but the soil is good here and this part of the region gets a lot of rain and warm summers​.”

Lucchese said overseas consumers tend to be prejudice when they see a label from Brazil but in the past when it has carried out blind tasting people are very surprised by the high quality and taste of the wine.

Consumers have low expectations of what they can expect in terms of the quality of wine produced here but it was the same for the Napa wine valley years ago. The US didn’t have a good reputation for wine but now it has conquered the market​,” he added.

Brazil is not very well known for producing wine but exports have grown since 2009 and we made $2.5m on exports to the US last year. This year, we exported more than $4m which is better than last year and we are hoping to achieve $7m in 2016​.”

The six main wine regions in Brazil are Bento Gonçalves; Serra Gaucha ‘Little Italy’; Campanha ‘New Horizons’; Serra de Sudeste ‘Where two worlds meet’; Planalto Catarinense ‘The Highlands’ and Vale do Sao Francisco ‘New Latitude’, which has two harvests a year, in December or March, depending on the climate.

Project to educate wine producers

The Peterlongo vineyard in Garibaldi, is also one of the very few companies in the world still allowed to use the ‘Champagne’ name legally – within, but not outside of Brazil – and is reputedly the first winery in the country to produce sparkling wines.

Now IBRAVIN is trying to change the domestic market by developing a programme with SEBRAE, an institution that supports small companies, to educate sommeliers about wine and sparkling wine from Brazil instead of countries such as Argentina and Chile, to encourage consumers to buy it outside of celebrating special occasions, when it is normally purchased, to enjoy it all year long.

There is also PPE (Programa Primeira Exportaca) a project to train vineyard owners on how to export their wine and the steps they need to take, like an entry programme to help them and how to take advantage of the domestic market. IBRAVIN has a consultant that works with them to visit the wineries and give the owners advice.

My main job is to develop the Brazilian wine category both here and abroad​,” added Lucchese.

We do export to Japan, the US, UK and China, but we compete with Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa​.

We export our sparkling wines to over 30 countries and Brazilians love bubbly light fruity flavors and our natural grape juice has become a trend here following a documentary on Globo Repórter TV which featured a news segment on the benefits of the beverage. We don’t currently have a lot of production processes in place for exporting it, it’s mainly for the domestic market and Japan​.”

China market

IBRAVIN plans to focus on the Asian market next year going to a fair in Shanghai, China and it attends ProWeintrade fair in Dusseldorf, Germany, every year, sending 10 wine producers from the region. The next event is March ​19, 2017.

The association also ran a promotional event publicizing its wine during the Olympics 2016 in Rio inviting visitors to taste their products.

The ‘Wake up the Brazilian in you’ campaign will target the 2m visitors that come to Brazil each year. Lucchese said Brazilians are known for their happiness and easy way of living, so this a chance to encourage guests to our country to ‘wake up’ and celebrate the wines here.

BeverageDaily met with IBRAVIN Brazil courtesy of ABICAB (Brazilian Cocoa, chocolate, peanut and candies manufacturers association) and ApexBrasil.

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