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“Peanut butter can move from a super-sweet spread to become a natural, plant-based protein source that can appeal to health-oriented Brazilians.”
Peanut butter in Brazil has traditionally been a sweet food, loaded with sugar and used as the base of the favorite paçoca candy. However, a concern for sugar among health-conscious Brazilians has opened doors for healthier peanut butters, including protein-fortified peanut butters that are targeted to athletes and emphasize the muscle-building attributes of protein.
At the same time, a small number of brands have begun to release "free-from" peanut butters, eliminating added sugars, gluten, lactose, and trans fats and concentrating on the fact that they contain just one ingredient: peanuts. There is potential for this type of natural peanut butter to expand, especially if brands call out the presence of the plant-based protein that is inherent in peanut butter to attract health-conscious Brazilians who are looking for better-for-you but still tasty snack options.
In Brazil, peanut butter has traditionally been a sweet-based spread, eaten like (or actually in) candy. Since these traditional sweet snack peanut butters have not been formulated to satisfy hunger, they may not be cutting it when it comes to long-lasting fullness.
In addition, while Brazilians enjoy their sweets, many are aiming for sugar reduction: 52% say they are trying to limit the amount of sugar they eat. Natural, simply made peanut butters could be positioned as a health-oriented compromise that bridges the gap between the sweet, candy-like product consumers have grown up with and a "health food."
These "in-between" peanut butters may also find wider consumer acceptance than the currently existing "healthy" peanut butters, which often contain added protein and are targeted to athletes.
Some new peanut butters feature "low/no" claims, eschewing added sugar and often comprising just one ingredient: peanuts. These spreads mark a small yet significant shift from super-sweet peanut butters to more natural varieties.
Brands can continue down this road to create peanut butters that appeal to health-conscious Brazilians, such as the 45% of Brazilians who are interested in snacks made with natural ingredients.
In addition to these "low/no" claims, peanut butters can play up their plant-based protein content, communicating the satiating properties of peanut butter and positioning it as a natural energy booster. 52% of Brazilians are trying to eat high-protein/fiber foods and/or drinks, and peanut butters can call out their inherent healthful qualities to convince consumers to take a chance on a new type of this product.
Draw on convenience to help consumers reach for peanut butter
Snackable packaging can give hungry consumers easy access to peanut butters, which can encourage them to reach for peanut butter more often when they need an energy boost.
Brazilians are big snackers, and they're snacking more than ever. 34% of Brazilian snackers do so while they are working or studying, but 23% of students think there are not enough conveniently packaged snacks, making peanut butter snack packs an ideal new option for these consumers. Snackable peanut butters may be particularly useful for students and children, who can include peanut butter cups, tubes, or snack packs in their school bags when they are in need of a snack break.
Convenient packaging makes nut butters an on-the-go snack
Since consumers are used to eating sweet peanut butters, there may bit of a challenge in helping them acclimate to these new products. Pairing peanut butters with popular Brazilian snacks may help consumers more easily make this transition.
One interesting option is dried banana. Dried banana chips have emerged in Brazil as a sweet-tasting yet healthful substitute for other sorts of sweet snacks, and Eat Clean draws on this ingredient in its banana and peanut butter snack packs.
Brands might look to other familiar Brazilian foods, such as snack breads, as a natural pairing for peanut butter. This can appeal to the 41% of consumers who say they eat bread or sandwiches while working or studying, or be a companion to the snack breads that are common kids' fare.
In Brazil, peanut butter can shift from being a sweet spread to become healthier, more natural, and a source of protein and energy. Peanut butter, especially in convenient on-the-go packaging, may be especially attractive to students or workers who need to stave off mid-day hunger.