In the accessories worn by Carmen Miranda or in the poems of Brazilian writer João Cabral de Melo Neto, Brazilian fruit sailed the world and gained fame. And now it is the turn of the cosmetics market to bet on their good performance, as is the case with Brazilian Fruit, from Mogi Mirim, in the interior of São Paulo.
The company has created a line of products with several species of Brazilian plants, among them açaí (assai), Brazil nuts, passion fruit, Brazilian cherry and guaraná. "They are products that add the quality of fruit to the production of cosmetics, aligned with the concept of Brazil," said Veronika Rezzani, partner and director of the company.
Açaí, for example, has energetic characteristics and its count of anthocyanin (a pigment that prevents against cell degeneration) is 33 times greater than that of grapes.
"It is a very efficient hydrating product and also smoothes the skin. Brazil nuts, in turn, are very rich in oleic acid, vitamins and proteins. Products made out of this fruit are ideal to avoid aging and skin drying. Brazil cherry, on the other hand, is a natural antiseptic and emollient," explained Veronika.
Brazilian Fruit already exports to Europe and the United States and is structuring sales to Japan. This year, the intention is for company exports to grow from 50% to 80% of production.
"The Arab market is our next step. First we decided to consolidate our presence in the main markets of the European Union, like Italy, France and Spain, then to present our products to the Arabs, and that should take place in 2009," stated Veronika.
Launched in 2006, during the main global event in the sector, the International Perfumery and Cosmetics Fair, Cosmoprof, in Bologna, Italy, brand Brazilian Fruit was born turned to the foreign market. The label and formulas were thought with importers in mind. The businesswoman's history in the cosmetics sector, however, is much older.
Ten years ago Veronika and her partner, Gustavo, established Gus and Vicki, a company that made cosmetics for other companies to sell under their brands. "In 2005 came the idea of having our own brand, as well as producing for other companies," said Veronika.
The next step was the hard research work regarding what product to make for what clientele. Little by little, Brazilian Fruit gained shape and fragrances. Brazilian fruit, not just from the Amazon – as is the case with most of the sector companies -, were to be the main articles in the company portfolio.
Then, according to Veronika, came a long period of work with perfumists and chemists, but there were also good surprises. "We discovered fruit that resulted in high performance products that, for example, hydrate without leaving the skin oily. I say that some of our butters may be used to hydrate, safely, even in the middle of the desert," explained the businesswoman.
Once the product was ready, adapted to international demands, formula requirements and regulations, Veronika packed her bags and traveled to Europe, to sell. At the Bologna fair in 2006, the company called attention due to an innovative line: caipirinha without alcohol.
The drink that is synonymous of Brazil first became a lip-gloss, then exfoliating and hydrating creams and bath foam, which attracted the attention of buyers. "The reception was fantastic, we left the event having sold to Portugal and having made contact with buyers in several countries," stated Veronika.
Product development took months. The composition of the line is based on sugarcane and lemon extract. "It has no alcohol and gives a feeling of freshness, which pleases both men and women," stated the businesswoman. Daring made the caipirinha line into the company's cash cow.
The organization, however, did not stop there, and continued investing in the creation of new lines. "We discovered what fruit is better accepted in what country. The açaí product, for example, is greatly consumed in the United States, as it is a product of the Amazon. In India, in turn, customers were mostly interested in the Brazilian cherry products," said Veronika.
All the products are dermatologically tested and produced with a great volume of natural products, without mineral oils and parabens (preservatives). A hydrating cream costs, on average, US$ 19. Production also follows concepts of social and environmental responsibility. "We buy all our inputs from suppliers who are concerned with sustainability," she says.
To consolidate the brand, between 2006 and 2008, Brazilian Fruit has already participated in other editions of Cosmoprof in Italy and in the United States, and in events in Spain.
"Princess Letizia Ortiz (of Spain) was even presented with Brazilian Fruit products during a fashion event in Madrid," explained Veronika.
Currently, the brand is found in shops and spas in Portugal, Spain, France, England and the United States. In recent months, sites have also started selling the products. "Our plan, up to the end of the year, is to establish partnerships with companies in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg and Japan," she says.
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