Peru’s agriculture industry is one of the country’s strongest sectors in a growing economy with great business prospects. Previously, we took a look at the up-and-coming superfoods industry in the world. Given its rich landscape, favorable climate, and extensive experience and history, Peru has a hospitable and fruitful environment for cultivating superfoods. Moreover, the sheer size of Peru’s agriculture industry and support from the government has allowed the sector to grow exponentially. Currently, it makes up over 11% of the country’s GDP.
Here, we dive deeper into the sector, identifying more of Peru’s superfoods and the opportunities they present. Moreover, we will analyze business opportunities within the superfood industry, but outside the realm of consumption.
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Peruvian Superfoods Waiting to be Discovered
Peru has more to offer than the foods mentioned in our previous article. Quinoa, camu camu, and golden berries just scratch the surface of the country’s extensive superfood industry. With thousands of years of cultivating and agriculture experience, Peruvians have the art of growing and using superfoods down pat.
Hailing from the Amazonian region of the country, acai berries are one of the most popular superfoods worldwide. Originally, the berries were used by indigenous people for making juices. Now, many people consume the juice, as well as the berry and the seed itself. One advantage of acai berries is how diverse its uses are. It is very common for people to use them in drinks, smoothies, sorbets, desserts, and other snacks or breakfast accompaniments.
Not only are they delicious, but they also offer many health benefits. For one, they have loads of antioxidant chemicals, which help protect the body’s healthy cells from harmful ones. Moreover, they help protect against respiratory diseases and infections. Unlike most fruits, acai berries have a high healthy fat content and low sugar content. This makes it a practical and healthy option for your morning meal.
Another superfood unique to Peruvian land is purple corn. Purple corn has been grown in the Andes mountain range for thousands of years and was a staple food for many indigenous cultures. The unique color of this type of corn can only be found in Peru. The harsh environmental conditions of the Andes mountains forced the crop to genetically modify itself over time to be able to withstand and survive. This interesting fact gives Peru and its farmers are pretty much the only ones producing this crop currently.
Purple corn is one of the healthiest and most nutrient-rich vegetables out there. It is full of antioxidants, specifically anthocyanins. These nutrients are only found in fruits and vegetables with rich, dark pigments, like blueberries. However, the anthocyanin content of purple corn well-surpasses that of a serving of blueberries. Moreover, the purple vegetable supports healthy glucose levels, faster metabolism, and well-maintained cardiovascular health.
Surely everyone’s favorite ‘superfood,’ cacao famously hails from the Amazonian forests in Peru as well. The cacao bean is notoriously used to make the highest quality and richest chocolate products. Named ‘theobroma cacao,’ meaning ‘food of the gods,’ was used by Incan civilizations nearly a thousand years ago. The bean itself and its derivatives were, and still are, used for a plethora of different products. Today, cacao is used to make chocolate, liquors, cocoa powders, and other sweet and bitter delights.
As for its health benefits, the cacao bean has 40 times the antioxidant content of a serving of blueberries. Moreover, it also happens to be the highest plant-based source of iron in the world. Finally, it has also been proven to naturally improve mood by encouraging serotonin production in the brain. Ultimately, this classifies the bean as a natural antidepressant. With all these benefits though does come with a catch. Many of these health benefits come with the assumption that one is consuming the cacao bean or it nibs directly, rather than processed versions of it. While processed versions of the cacao bean still have these seem attractive qualities, the quantities in which they come are lesser.
‘Super’ beauty market
Not only does Peru have superfoods that are extremely conducive to healthy eating, but also ones that are extremely beneficial as beauty regimens. This emerging niche market offers business people and investors a host of opportunities because it is not as well known as the superfood dietary craze. There are a handful of resources from Peruvian land that offer major skin and hair benefits and can be used to make organic, all-natural, cosmetic products.
The biggest trends in the cosmetic market surround plants like eucalyptus, acai, and even quinoa.
Eucalyptus, although not native to Peru, is found in abundance around the country. After government efforts to make land more visually appealing and hospitable, eucalyptus plants are commonly found in the Peruvian Andes.
The eucalyptus leaf is often used for its oil. Naturally, the plant’s oils contain healing powers conducive to treating cuts, blisters, bruises, and other ailments. Moreover, the plant can be used to ease sore muscles, as aromatherapy for those who suffer from headaches, and for alleviating coughs and colds.
Aside from a healing agent, the plant is often used to make lotions, soaps, candles, or just for its essential oil purposes. It serves as an efficient moisturizer for the skin and helps hair growth and scalp health as well.
Opportunities for business
The great thing about Peru’s seemingly endless access to natural ‘superfoods’ is that they have a competitive advantage in such a popular niche market. Investors and business people have a wide array of products and crops to choose from to cultivate and market. Moreover, as mentioned before, many of these superfoods possess serious benefits in more than just one industry. Businesses can find opportunities within the food industry, the beauty industry, or even both. At the end of the day, the only obstacle is the number of choices one has within the market. With so many different viable routes and options, choosing just one sector to get involved in becomes the biggest problem.
Let us help
The Peruvian superfood and agriculture industries are incredibly fascinating, while also proving to be very lucrative. Opportunities across many different sectors and markets continue to present themselves every day. Working with local partners and experts will help facilitate and streamline the process.
Here at Biz Latin Hub, we pride ourselves on working to provide our clients with personalized, practical strategies and solutions. From market entry to back-office services, to commercial representation, our team can help you and your company fully penetrate Peru’s superfood industry. Contact us today to get started on this ‘super’ opportunity.