Brazilian flavours in confectionery are key to increasing exports, according to the country’s trade and investment promotions agency.

Brazilian confectionery companies are investing in local flavours, such as native fruits, to expand their share of the international market, Apex-Brasil has said.

Brazil is the third-largest global producer of confectionery. But despite the size of the country’s existing sector, it still has “vast” potential to explore in the external market with the help of innovation, the agency suggested.

Ingredients such as Amazonian cacao feature in around 90 of the product launches at this year’s ISM confectionery show in Cologne where Apex-Brasil, in conjunction with the Brazilian Association of Cacao, Chocolates, Candies and Byproducts (ABICAB) are exhibiting. Companies present included Bel, Chocolates Garoto, Docile, Dori and Embaré.

ABICAB said Brazilian confectionery manufacturers have opted to invest in markets including the US, Angola, Saudi Arabia and Latin American, where sales of Brazilian chocolates have risen.

In 2012, for the period January to September, exports to the US grew by 22%, in Peru by 55%, Angola by 17% and Saudi Arabia by 15%.

“The Brazilian confectionery industry has a history that spans approximately one and a half centuries, most of it steeped in tradition,” said ABICAB VP of exports Solange Isidoro. “This tradition, along with the knowledge behind making confectionery are more and more commonly being joined by new, authentically Brazilian ingredients, flavours and ideas, with resulting launches that are equally increasingly diversified and boasting innovative flavours. This is a niche that has begun to grow and we want to show that to the world.”