Monday October 8th, 2012 - 4:01PM
As a retail chain selling natural food, Hortifruti is a rare thing in Brazil but an operation that is doing all it can to build on market opportunities. To do so, as evinced by a store in Rio de Janeiro’s Barra de Tijuca borough, Hortifruti offers a small but comprehensive presentation of kitchen housewares.
Natural foods haven’t yet become a major mainstream category with Brazilian consumers. The country’s middle class is growing but, until recently, was not large enough to really impose the kind of preferences in Brazil that the demographic tends to exact on the North American and European mass market. While upscale in look and merchandise, Hortifruti is operated as a specialty supermarket rather than a boutique retailer. The operation demonstrates that a significant part of the Brazilian population, given education about possible risks and benefits food might convey, is becoming more concerned about diet.
Yet, as Brazilian consumers look for new kinds of food and preparation methods to effectively assemble meals, many need cooking tools that might not be widely available. At Hortifruti, a bay on one turn of the shopping racetrack includes the store’s attractively merchandised assortment of kitchen housewares. The store offers an array of gadgets and cookware that lets its kind of shopper to cook its kind of food. In that way, housewares become a double opportunity, one for an extra sale, another to coax shoppers into trying new foods that, lacking the right prep tools immediately available, they might not purchase otherwise.
Hortifruti also offers a range of tabletop and serving products. While these might be less immediately necessary for shoppers, tableware at Hortifruti tends to be more decoratively designed than is typical, so it may prove more attractive to consumers who already have a higher-than-average food consciousness. In effect, and in pursuit of another opportunity, the store provides a differentiated tableware assortment that make its food more attractive to eat and that is appropriate and, indeed, sometimes packaged, for gift giving.