Panel SA: Falling dollar does not benefit imported wine at first, says importer

Panel SA: Falling dollar does not benefit imported wine at first, says importer

The prices of imported products for Easter should still not benefit from the recent fall in the dollar, according to Adilson Carvalhal Junior, director of Casa Flora. Because, due to logistical difficulties, importers have been working with anticipated stock. “Everyone had to anticipate purchases a lot. I think there’s a delay of about two or three months to see”, says the businessman.

What has been the effect of the dollar’s fall for you so far? Sometimes people think that you will get results over the cost at first. But that doesn’t happen. Even more so now, with this crazy world, an import flow takes months to actually happen. It’s always good when [o dólar] it’s coming down.

This will help to mitigate this impact that we are having. In this sense, we see it positively. But it doesn’t have an impact at first because we have a lot of inventory paid for at a much higher exchange rate than the current one.

This recent downward movement benefits your orders for when? For Christmas? Not. Even before. For the winter it will already have an impact, yes. What it may not generate is an immediate reduction impact for Easter, which was already bought, even because of these logistical risks, of freight madness, that the world has been going through. Everyone had to anticipate purchases a lot. I think there is a delay of two or three months to see.

​We are living in a year that is not yet post-pandemic, and it is also a year of war and a year of politics. We know that there will still be a lot of fluctuation in speculation and market tension. We have no idea what will happen to the dollar in the medium and long term. So, there are still moves that take time.

The price of wine, for example, will only feel the fall of the dollar when? First, I think there needs to be stabilization. From the looks of it, it’s going to stay lower than it was before. And because of the issue of inventories, we think that the reflection of this total at the point of sale happens after two or three months, more or less.

Has anything else changed in consumer behavior in this new moment of the pandemic we are experiencing today?During the pandemic, consumers became more used to consuming wine. It was an occasion for consumption at home that favored wine, and this took another level within our market.

Now, it won’t be able to grow at the same pace as 2020, but it’s keeping up, even with the reopening of bars and restaurants. There was the question of whether people would stop drinking wine. But this habit that started to build in the pandemic is maintaining itself.

There has been a lot of increase in costs as well. Has it been difficult to pass on?I see that people adapt by making product selection. They switch brands, look for the most affordable ones. If the wine that cost R$ 50 before the pandemic, with the exchange rate at R$ 4, rose to R$ 70, I think the consumer looked for another in the same price range.

Our curatorship had to try to find products more adhering to the market moment. So, you accelerate a brand that has a more competitive price and decelerate others. I have to bring an offer of products that adapts to the consumption power that our consumer will have at the moment.

For us importers, who have a large mix, the challenge is to understand what price consumers are able and willing to pay today for each level of product.

Besides drinks, what happened in the food line?It suffered less in terms of consumption. In a crisis like this, there was a lot of supply disruption. For example, peeled tomatoes from Italy are in short supply. And it is the product that is suffering the most from global inflation. We are talking about the war in Ukraine, fertilizers and a series of things that will have a negative impact.

We will have challenges to be well supplied, but I think that in terms of consumption it suffered less. We importers do not suffer much from this. What is complicated is getting the product always.

How was ecommerce for you in this pandemic period?We started very late, by the way, when the market was already open. It was a project that would perhaps happen five years later. We actually started earning in ecommerce in August 2021. We don’t want a low-ticket e-commerce, because we understand that it has a very good distribution.

And the oils? How has this market evolved in Brazil?We are starting to see, more and more, a premiunization. People are not only looking for high volume brands, but also for a differentiator. You already see people having two types of olive oil, one more special for dinner and the other for everyday use. It’s starting to have a more refined taste for olive oil.

Sometimes, people prefer to pay more for an oil that they will use less, because it has more flavor intensity. And she uses less as a seasoning and as an input. People are more into gastronomy, flavored oils, with truffles. We are very new to olive oil consumption. We used to use corn oil, then oil compounded with olive oil, and now we’re going to a premium olive oil.


He joined Casa Flora, a family company, in 1989, when he was studying engineering, and worked on transforming the business into an importer of food and beverages. Today, in addition to being director of Casa Flora, the businessman is president of the BFBA (association of exporters and importers of beverages and food).

Joana Cunhawith Andressa Motter

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