Brazil is currently emerging from three turbulent years following a series of political scandals and one of the greatest recessions in its history. During this period, unemployment hit historically high levels and income declined, causing a reversal in the trend of booming consumption. In particular, Brazilian households cut consumption – both consumption of necessities and discretionary spending – and migrated to cheaper alternatives and bulk shopping.

Anticipating the changes in the buying behavior of Brazilians is fundamental for the future of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturers, food-service companies, and retailers: industries of great importance to the Brazilian economy. Gaining an in-depth understanding of the preferences and priorities of consumers is thus essential for the industry to adjust its strategy to the changing environment in order to spot and capitalize on new opportunities.

Consumer behavior, as well as the plans of individual players within these three industries, must differ under a booming and a declining economy, making it increasingly difficult for companies to agree upon a future strategy. Our scenario-based analysis maps opportunities and challenges for such different economic outcomes and proposes a variety of tactics that companies must use to capitalize on the opportunities that each possible future offers.

The report “What lies ahead for Brazil? The future of the FMCG, retail, and foodservice industries”, provides a detailed analysis of how consumer behavior and spending would be altered under these different economic outcomes and forecasts the way that different macroeconomic fundamentals – GDP growth, unemployment, ex-change rates, national debt, and trade balances – will impact retailers, FMCG categories, and foodservice companies.


• Under the downside and baseline scenarios, consumers will downtrade and will choose to indulge themselves only on special occasions. Consumers will be characterized by cautious optimism and will prefer to socialize at home rather than going out. Contrarily, renewed optimism under the upside scenario means that Brazilians will be willing to pay a higher price for better quality products, and will willing to eat and drink out.

• Under the downside and baseline scenarios the unquestionable winners will be personal care and quick service restaurants, with dairy products showing strong performance. However, under the upside scenario full service restaurants and coffee shops will experience the strongest growth within foodservice, with alcoholic beverages and soft drinks similarly growing the fastest within retail.

• A huge opportunity lies in e-commerce, so digital strategies must be a priority under all scenarios. Further, by helping consumers during an economic down-turn, companies will reap loyalty bene-fits in the long-run and so efforts must be made to tailor marketing and offerings for different cohorts and regions.

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