Food Industry

Among the major players in the global agribusiness, the State of São Paulo also stands out in the industry, trade and services in the food industry. Approximately 35.5% of the industrial production of food in Brazil is concentrated in São Paulo, with special mention to the manufacture of sugar (58% of the total), canned fruit and vegetables (48%), dairy products (31%) and ground coffee (37%), according to a survey held in 2011 by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

The food sector represents approximately 10% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the companies’ revenues totaled US$ 221.4 billion in Brazil in 2012, out of which R$ 181.4 billion was in food and US$ 40 billion in beverages, according to the Brazilian Association of Food Industries (Abia). The sector is the first largest in gross output value of the manufacturing industry.

Out of total sales, US$ 43.4 billion was exported, equivalent to R$ 84.8 billion, or 20% of total industry sales (Abia – 2012).

On the other hand, imports of food are much less significant and concentrated on wheat, totaling US$ 5.6 billion. This makes the food sector one of the most relevant to the generation of trade surplus, reaching, in 2012, US$ 37.8 billion, above the trade surplus of the Brazilian economy as a whole, which is US$ 19.4 billion (Abia).

Despite the worsening of international crisis, investments in the sector totaled US$ 11.1 billion. It is worth noting that sales and investment growth has remained constant, even in view of the economic downturn.

Actual industry sales, in 2012, increased by 4.6%. This growth is also reflected in the increase of jobs (Abia).

In 2012, the industry employed 1.63 million workers. Since 1992, the number of employees in the sector grew 91.8%. The annual growth rate was 3.3%, significantly above the average of the manufacturing industry, which is 2,6% per year (Abia).


The food industry is also a leader in the franchising market. The numbers of sales and growth of job creation in franchising in the countryside of São Paulo are also very impressive compared to the inland cities of other states: the total revenue of the sector in 2012 wasUS$ 26 billion and the total number of jobs generated in 1 year had an increase of 5,66% – increasing from 222,449 in 2011 to 235,046 direct jobs in 2012, according to Rizzo Franchise.

Why invest in the Food Industry in São Paulo?

  • The state is top-ranked in the industrial production of food in Brazil.
  • It concentrates the largest final consumer market.
  • It has a great infrastructure network and distribution channels.
  • It has specialized labor at all stages of production.
  • Rich and diverse agriculture next to industrial production sites.

Click here to download a brochure with more information about the sector.

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