Brazil coffee market leader: 3 Corações

American company Sara Lee has been a coffee market leader in Brazil since 2000 when it acquired the popular Pilão and Caboclo brands. This leadership is now threatened by 3 Corações, the merger of Santa Clara and Israeli Strauss-Elite, whose 18.1% market share is coming closer to Sara Lee’s 20.9%, according to Nielsen. Latin-Panel, another research institute, claims that 3 Corações is already ahead with 20.3% of the market against Sara Lee’s 18.6%. Some of the reasons behind this amazing performance are 3 Corações / Santa Clara’s strong presence in the Northeast region of Brazil, one of the most benefited by government social programs, and aggressive sales and marketing in the Southeast region, where São Paulo state alone accounts for more than one third of Brazilian coffee consumption. Third place German Melitta, that is also growing faster than Brazilian consumption, is another factor behind concentration and foreign control of the Brazilian coffee market.
Sources: Valor Econômico and P&A

Brazil cigar tobacco

Brazilian cigars are mostly produced in the state of Bahia on the eastern coast of Brazil. Here the region is very tropical and the soil fertile, which naturally makes a great tobacco growing environment. Brazil is the leading South American country for tobacco exports.

In the world of cigars, Brazil is mostly known for its dark tobacco, called Mata Fina tobacco. Mata Fina is a sun-grown tobacco which is typically made into wrappers and used for premium, long filler cigars by many cigar producers in the Caribbean and Central America.
This Brazilian wrapper is dark brown to black in color after fermentation, with a mild to medium strength, rich flavor, is very aromatic, and has a natural sweetness that yields excellent Oscuro and Maduro wrappers.
Like its name, Mata Fina tobacco is grown in a region also called Mata Fina. The Mata Fina Region is located in the Reconcavo Basin in the state of Bahia, Brazil. The region gets its name from the native thin vegetation that grows there (mata means “vegetation,” and fina, “thin”).

In this region tobacco was found naturally growing along with the thin vegetation that covers the land, which led to the name for Brazil’s dark tobacco, Mata Fina tobacco. Just about all of the dark tobacco planted in the Reconcavo Basin of Bahia is of the Mata Fina variety.

There are also other Mata Fina varieties that are grown in different regions of Bahia and because of the different microclimates, treatment of the plant, and harvesting techniques gives the tobacco a different taste.
For example, in addition to the Mata Fina region, other regions in the state of Bahia include: Mata Norte, Mata São Gonçalo, and Mata Sul, all of which grow a different variety of Mata Fina tobacco that produce different characteristics of tobacco because of the differerent microclimates and different growing techniques used in those regions.

Besides the native Mata Fina tobacco, the Reconcavo Basin of Bahia also grows other varieties of tobacco such as the Brazilian-Sumatra, which is a Sumatra tobacco seed originating from Indonesia and has thrived in Brazil.

Mata Fina tobacco is also also grown in the state of Sergipe, a state neighboring Bahia. In Sergipe, it is grown in the Arapiraca region of the state and the Mata Fina tobacco grown here again comes in different varieties.

As stated above, Brazil has become a major supplier of tobacco for cigar makers in other countries in the Caribbean and Central America. Particularly, its unique dark wrapper leaf that many cigar brands from other countries use on their cigars.

In addition to it’s dark wrapper leaf that it exports, Brazil produces many premium cigars with 100% Brazilian grown tobacoo (puros) in its cigar, that are great tasting and have gone unnoticed in many markets around the world.

Typical Bahia food

Lobster and simple seafood dishes are common and extremely cheap in Salvador da Bahia. A lobster dish is cheaper than a fast food dish in

Europe or at the USA. Simple seafood is an excellent food option, shared by many Salvador’s visitors with conservative food habits.

But for those who aren’t afraid of gastronomic news, and whose stomachs can handle peppered food, the dishes that should be tasted have strange names, with African origin: Vatapá, moqueca, caruru, acarajé… They are seafood based dishes, but they also have other ingredients.

Vatapá is a kind of seafood stew, with ground peanuts, green peppers and, most of all, coconut milk and dendê (a palm oil). Vatapá is a reference dish. Others as caruru are a variant of vatapá (it’s a kind of vatapá with lots of okra), while the acarajé dish is a vatapá with fried bean cake.
The moqueca is also a seafood dish, and a stew-like of shrimp and other shellfish, with coconut milk, dendê oil and hot pepper. The difference is in the included tomato paste and some complementary herbs: onion, garlic, parsley…

Though they may be not attractive at a first look, any of these dishes are delicious, even when sold at street corners or at sides of the beaches

by typical bahians, in their white dresses. You will not forget this cuisine. After savoured, most people sigh for a next experience.

Just be careful with hot pepper. Ask for little pepper, if you aren’t initiated, or just don’t add it (some times it is served separately).