Company in talks to sell Amazon cake to Dubai
15 de julho de 2016
Sabores de Tradição of Manaus is negotiating with a British distributor to supply the UK and the UAE. Its cakes are gluten- and lactose-free and made with ingredients from the Amazon rainforest.
São Paulo – Company Sabores de Tradição (Flavors of Tradition), hailing from Manaus, Amazonas, is in talks to export its Amazon Cakes to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. A British distributor intends to place the product in the UK and in the emirate, said the Brazilian business’ owner Jorge Carlos Neves, himself a Portuguese.
The bakery and pastry shop has been on the market for about four years, and three years ago it embarked on research to make Amazon products. It owns two brands – an eponymous one carrying Portuguese pastry items in the state of Amazonas, and Arabu, which makes the Amazon Cake, sold locally and also in São Paulo. Arabu is the name of a typical Amazon delicacy made with freshwater turtle eggs, sugar and manioc flour.
The Portuguese product line includes frozen Pastel de Belém (a typical pastry) and other fresh treats sold to establishments in the company’s home state. Arabu is set to release new items this year, apart from the Amazon Cake it already markets.
The Amazon Cake is gluten-, lactose- and trans fat-free. Preservatives are kept to a minimum through modified atmosphere packaging. The product has a shelf life of five months and is made using Amazon rainforest ingredients such as Brazil nut, cupuaçu, cumaru and puxuri.
According to Neves, the cake is flavorful, has “great” texture and is moist, unlike other gluten-free products. The company’s website describes it as fluffy and fibrous, with a fruity, soft, sweet aroma. The flour is a proprietary, gluten-free mix of nuts, manioc and cashew fruit. The owner explains that the cake’s formula took two years to perfect.
The British distributor is the company’s first international contact. Neves first got in touch with the prospective European client during the Amazon International Fair, which happened in Manaus in November last year. “They loved our Amazon Cake,” he says. The company pledged to adapt its formula so as to reduce export costs. Tests are underway and due for completion in September.
The Manaus-based company is also working on new packaging. The cake is currently sold in a small box, so many Brazilian consumers mistake it for cake batter rather than the ready-to-eat product. The new packaging will also be discussed with the British client, since Sabores de Tradição wants something unique for the domestic and international markets.
The bakery business was born of Neves’ desire to live in Amazonas. First, he considered moving to Brazil to teach pastry and bakery classes, which he used to do back in Portugal. And so he did, for a few years – not in the Amazon, because no opportunities presented themselves there, but in states including São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Goiás and the Federal District.
Then, Neves had another idea for Amazonas: making Portuguese sweets, which soon worked out very well. “I realized there weren’t any Amazonian pastries,” he recalls, “except for the occasional, unsophisticated product sold at bakeries.” So he drafted a project and submitted it to the Studies and Projects Funding Body (Finep), a state-run outfit that fosters science, technology and innovation; became partners with the Amazonas State Research Foundation (Fapeam); and garnered the support to develop his Amazonian bakery products.
His company operates within the Business Incubation and Development Center (Cide), an initiative of the Federation of Industries of the State of Amazonas (Fieam), and relies on support from organizations including the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae). Sabores de Tradição is a micro-business.
Neves is working on licensing his products with the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He believes that this will make access to other countries easier. The entrepreneur claims Europe is very receptive to products from the Amazon. “The Amazon brand sells itself in Europe,” he asserts, adding the caveat that quality is a must. He believes Dubai is also welcoming of Amazon products and new flavors.
Sabores de Tradição
Phone: +55 (92) 3084-7538
*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum