Brazil has increased its imports of dates in the last few years. The fruit is still not very trendy among consumers in general, but it is sought after by the fitness niche. In 2020, imports decreased due to the pandemic.
Brazil imported an average of 1,000 tons of dates in the last three years. In 2020 the volume shrank by almost half due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but 2019 purchases reached 1,100 tons, while 2018 saw 994 tons, and 2017 933 tons. The two previous years saw imports around 600 and 800 tons, according to the federal government database.
The Arab countries are major date producers. They are Brazil’s top suppliers of the fruit. But people working in the sector believe that, although growing, the purchases in the country are still small compared to the potential of the market, which consists of over 200 million consumers. The dates aren’t still well-known and are not part of Brazilian typical diet.
Businesswomen Julia de Biase, who started working in this market in 2017, importing dates from the United Arab Emirates: “Brazil is a country that still doesn’t know much about dates or other dried fruits in general. Everything we don’t produce here, people don’t know.” The date palms are mainly found in desert places and there are no large-scale plantations in the Brazilian territory.
According to Biase, the consumption of dates in Brazil is primarily supported by the fitness niche, consumers looking for a balanced diet and enthusiastic about nutrition. She says that the fitness crowd consumes dates as a food supplement. “They go out of the gym and eat it to curb that craving for sweets,” she told anba.com.br.