Beware the Brazilian Teenager!

This weeks Veja magazine has devoted a large segment to a report on today’s Brazilian youth. Whilst the report contains some interesting background and insight on young people – much of which relates to trends observable in young middle class people (not just limited to teenagers) across the globe the general tone of the piece is in some ways as confusing as the young people it identifies. Confusing in that whilst the net is seen as creating a generation more informed than their parents, less tribal and less prejudiced, it is simultaneously seen as central to a number of ‘problems’ affecting young Brazilians.

The report is somewhat akin to a soft ‘moral panic’ stating that young people who are kings of the digital age are costly to keep, pragmatic, lacking idealism and generally lost or confused in a world of endless choice, much of which is bought on by their being endlessly online. The internet and social media is in part blamed for young people’s lack of reflexivity and a ‘look at me’ culture, meanwhile the growth of social contacts via Orkut has fuelled increased party attendance and this is blmed for increased drinking and drug taking amongst Brazilians.The article however also seeks to criticise teens for having lost the sense of revolution that their parents exhibited, worrying only about getting into stable employment and receiving a good salary. The shift in power relations due to adoption of technologies is also seen as a factor behind how young people now increasingly control household spending behaviour and the fact that young people are now 5 times more expensive than 30 years ago. The article which starts by drawing comparison to Holden Caulfield’s crisis of 2 generations ago ends with a list of recommendations to parents on how to raise their children with reference to such issues as – how to get them to answer the phone, or stop exposing too much of their lives online!

If you would like to know more about our own extensive and less sensationalist research report into Young Lives across South America - please click here

Nova Lima

We've been busy in Peru for the past few weeks looking at some of the social and cultural trends in Lima and beyond. We are in the process of creating a micro-site with more detail on the New Peruvian Consumer, interviews with young Limeñas and a host of visual images from around the city. The site will be up and running soon but in the meantime...

Changing Consumer Tastes

We've posted here at blogamericas a number of times about the rise in coverage of the new Brazilian consumer. We found a nice TV report (in Portugues) about some of the current trends that are resulting from a more affluent society. The report argues that the one time 'ice cream cone' consumers (those who went to the mall for an ice cream and some window shopping) are increasingly now active consumers. Whilst some have argues that there is an emerging middle class. the statistics contained in the article also indicate an increasing gap between the haves and have nots. The number of families with more than 4 times the average income has now reached nearly 50% and consumers are expected to spend this year alone R$450 Billion (280 Billion US$). A greater level of sophistication is clearly evident in the number of more specialist boutique stores. The report discusses the number of chocolate stores that are now replacing supermarkets as the primary purchase location.  As a result of this heightened sense of discrimination by consumers, stores are having to become more consumer focused.

Green Marketing and Consumers in Brazil - 4

To mark the UN Environment Day, TWRAmericas undertook a series of discussion groups with Brazilians to look not only at the issues as they relate to consumers in Brazil but also broader issues of sustainable development and ethical consumerism. The groups approached a broad range of subjects including current behaviours and responses to a range of 'green' advertising and activities by brands. Their are a series of 5 video clips with the thoughts of the participants. Please feel free to add your own own comments or thoughts on the issues discussed.

In this third section of clips respondents discuss a number of Brazilian consumers and their green activities.

Vegan market increasingly the target of Brazilian food industry

Having recently commented on the possible changing tastes on the Brazilian menu, more evidence this week form a report that places Brazil as the country with the second highest proportion of vegans in the world. Of the total population 28% are seeking to eat less meat and diary based products. Perhaps in reflection of such shifts in consumer behaviour, two of the nations biggest meat producers in the country (Perdigão and Sadia) have introduced new vegetarian product lines. Both companies have reportedly argued that this niche market is something they see as gaining prominence in years to come. Veganism is just one of a number of examples of communities which are increasingly being served via specialist websites and online communities such as Orkut. More to come on this subject... but if you have any thoughts on being a vegan in Brazil we'd love to know more. thanks to JBOnline