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Brazilian companies look to increase their presence in the Canadian market – Part II

"Canada is a true cultural mosaic; it is open to new products, flavours, and textures."

By Grazielle Benedetti Santos

Continuing our analysis of the Brazilian products available in the Canadian market, we will now comment on the profile of companies and brands that are successful in Canada. 

As it is to be expected, not all Brazilian companies and products manage to win the hearts of all Canadians. There are several reasons for this, but, especially, one must be kept in mind, Canadians have very different habits and tastes than ours. 

Therefore, if you intend to bring Brazilian products not only to the immigrants but also to the Canadian consumer, be aware that adaptations will be necessary from the packaging and technical requirements demanded by Canadian legislation to the “education” of Canadians about everything that Brazil has to offer. Most Canadian consumers do not know Brazil or even know that Brazil is a great producer of many goods. With coffee, for example, they think it comes from Colombia. The same with Brazilian wines, which they assume are produced in Argentina or Chile.

“Companies should act ethically and sustainably, and this should be reflected at all times so that the Canadian public knows the provenance of what they are buying.”

For all these reasons, Brazilian companies and brands’ marketing, promotion and merchandising work is essential. Companies should act ethically and sustainably, and this should be reflected at all times so that the Canadian public knows the provenance of what they are buying. 

In our opinion, regardless of the segment in which they operate, the same premise must always be followed: to bring solutions to people’s lives through products. 

Thus, the choice of the companies we represent and of the products that make up our portfolio is made in a way that goes beyond the mere acquisition of the product. For us, there must be a story. Who is it for? How is it styled? We believe that human stories resonate with shoppers. The importance of shopping sustainably has become very apparent. In addition, it is the story of the company, the maker and creator, that sets us apart from massive competitors. 

 Companies must act in an organized, serious, ethical, professional, and sustainable way. They must be attentive to the demands of this public, which is sometimes much more demanding when it comes to imported products that are undeniably expected to be of superior quality. 

It should be noted that the Canadian market is not flexible to adventurous entrepreneurs. The companies that intend to operate here need operational and financial stability to serve this market continuously. Therefore, companies that lack these characteristics may be rejected by the Canadian market.

The import process and the tax 

Unlike what happens in Brazil, you will find it somewhat easier to bring in imported goods to Canada. The import process, in general, is substantially more straightforward and less costly. It is not without reason that Canada is known as one of the world’s largest importers.

Added to this is the fact that the country offers exemption from import taxes for various products, especially food products. Only two exceptions exits, concerning meat and dairy products, but they do not make imports of these types of Brazilian products unfeasible. 

There are many reasons that led Canada to encourage imports, among them the fact that agriculture here is very limited due to the climate. Few vegetables can be grown, and Canadians have less than half the year to prepare the land, sow, cultivate, and harvest. By the time they harvest, it is late summer or early fall. Then it is no longer possible to plant anything else—only the following year. Therefore, the demand for imported food is notorious. 

And not only industrialized foods! Fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables can also be found here. We can buy anything from chayote, condo fruit, açaí, to meat and dairy products. Remember that sustainable, organic, and biodynamic agriculture practices add value to the product and call the attention of the Canadian consumer.

“Canada is a true “cultural mosaic”; in other words, it is open to new products, flavours, and textures.” 

Of course, the price will not always be the most accessible because logistical issues make this type of product substantially more expensive, refrigerated containers, air freight, etc. All this impacts the final price. 

However, Canada is a true “cultural mosaic”; in other words, it is open to new products, flavours, and textures. The Canadian consumer has one of the highest per capita incomes globally, with high levels of education. Therefore, it is a more conscious consumer, more demanding, and willing to pay more for better quality products. 

In conclusion, Canada is an excellent option for the Brazilian entrepreneur who intends to export quality products because it has a developed market and less competition between companies than other countries, such as the neighbouring United States. Thus, it becomes the perfect option to boost business mutually and sustainably. 

Grazielle Benedetti, Partner-Director at BS Canada Import, an international company focused on importing, distributing, representing, marketing, and merchandising Brazilian products and brands in Canada. In Brazil, she worked as a lawyer and, taking advantage of her professional experience, helps Brazilian companies to insert their products into the Canadian market.

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