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Brief Published: 9 Jun 2016

Brazil's Bargain Buyers

Consumers shopping in Mercado Municipal in Sao Paulo

New research from global management consultancy McKinsey has identified five core behavioural insights about Brazilian consumers.

The March 2016 study, which gathered data from 1,000 Brazilian shoppers, set out to identify how consumers feel about their financial prospects and how these sentiments are affecting their buying behaviour. The research highlighted the following trends: 

  • Searching for Savings: Nearly three-quarters of respondents (72%) agreed that they’re “increasingly looking for ways to save money”. More than half said they’re paying more attention to prices, delaying purchases or actively looking for sales and promotions.
  • Shopping Around: More than a third (35%) of Brazilians claimed they haven’t abandoned their preferred brands, but are shopping around to find retailers that sell these brands at lower prices.
  • Trading Down: Twenty-one per cent of Brazilian consumers revealed they traded down to less expensive brands, with laundry supplies, household-cleaning products and bottled water being the products with the highest trade-down rates. Three-fifths of these consumers said they don’t intend to go back to the more expensive brand.
  • Splurging on Alcohol & Personal Care: Although most Brazilians want to save money, some are trading up on alcoholic drinks and personal-care products. Fifteen per cent of consumers indicated they traded up in beer, 11% in wine, 10% in spirits and 9% in cosmetics.
  • Crossing Channels: Discount chains and the cash-and-carry format (atacarejo), which combines both retail and wholesale, are becoming increasingly popular.

For a wider look at Brazil’s consumer classes and their longer-term aspirations, see Cannes Lions 2014: Selling Brazil.